Millwall manager Gary Rowett believes former Derby County player Scott Malone would have warranted a seven-figure fee had his contract not expired, NewsatDen report.
Malone fell out of favour at Derby after joining in 2018.
The former Fulham man spent last season on loan at Millwall. Playing in an attacking wingback role, Malone enjoyed a superb campaign posting five goals and two assists.
With his contract expiring, Millwall secured a deal for Malone on a permanent basis.
Speaking to reporters, Rowett expressed the importance of the free-agent market and suggested a player of Malone’s calibre would usually command a seven-figure fee.
“I think there’s always going to be value for Millwall [in the free transfer market] because we’re the type of club that have to seek that value. You look at someone like Scott Malone who wasn’t necessarily in Derby’s plans. We take him and he has as good a season as anyone in the Championship in that position and then we sign him on a free transfer. After last season if we had had to pay half a million, a million pounds for someone like Scott Malone I don’t think anyone would have batted an eyelid based on his performances,” Rowett explained.
Former Derby players reunite at Millwall:
Millwall has been a good base for former Derby players.
Alex Pearce and Mason Bennett are also on the books with the Lions. Tom Huddlestone, meanwhile, is another potential free-agent option namechecked by Rowett.
Malone enjoyed a decent first season at Derby after his move from Huddersfield Town. The emergence of Lee Buchanan, however, saw him become surplus to requirements.
The 30-year-old is one of several players to depart Derby on a free this summer.
The Rams recently released their retained list after the 2020/21 campaign. Only 14 senior players are contracted to the club beyond this month.