Millwall manager Gary Rowett has told the South London Press how he wanted to sign new loan signing Scott Malone during his time at Derby County and Stoke City.
Malone has joined the Lions on a season-long loan spell from Derby.
The former Huddersfield Town man, who cost the Rams around £2.7 million in 2018, fell out of favour at Pride Park last season under manager Phillip Cocu.
Rowett knows all about the player having previously had him at Burton Albion.
And the Millwall manager admits he wanted to sign him during spells at Derby and Stoke.
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He’s a player I’ve watched intently over the years and seen him develop into a good attacking left-back,. We had a real good think about him when we were at Stoke and at Derby, before he went there. I worked with Scott Malone at Burton and at times we used him as a left winger in a counter-attacking side. He would break forward, eat up space and make good decisions in the final third.
Scott Malone falls down Derby pecking order:
Malone, 28, was dubbed an integral figure under former Derby boss Frank Lampard.
But last season, he found himself behind Craig Forsyth and Max Lowe in the pecking order while the emergence of Lee Buchanan pushed him further down the list.
Malone’s contract at Derby expires next summer. It’s likely he has already played his last game for the Rams while Millwall may have one eye on a bargain deal next year.
Rowett has often played with a wingback system during his time as Millwall boss. He will likely use Malone in the left wingback role, with Mahlon Romeo on the opposite flank.
Derby, Millwall and Stoke will view the playoffs as a realistic target this season.
The Potters have strengthened with several additions this summer, while Derby will be hoping the freed-up space on the wage bill can help bring in some extra attacking players.