Millwall manager Gary Rowett says his side couldn’t have signed a better player than Scott Malone for the amount they paid Derby County, South London Press report.

Malone joined Millwall in the summer on a season-long loan from Derby.

The former Fulham man originally joined the Rams for £3 million in 2018 and was largely a regular during Frank Lampard’s 2018-19 campaign which saw Derby reach the playoff final.

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But he fell out of favour under his successor Phillip Cocu as Craig Forsyth returned from injury and Max Lowe’s form meant Malone was surplus to requirements.

Millwall signed him on loan, but he may end up with the Lions permanently as his contract at Derby expires in the summer. Rowett admits he feels his side picked up a bargain.

“When we signed him it was controversial for some people – do we want to sign another 30-year-old who has been around the Championship? Everyone wants you get someone who is 20 or 21. But for the money we are paying I don’t think we could have got anyone better in the division at left wing-back. He covers massive distances in games,” the former Derby boss explained.

With Max Lowe joining Sheffield United last summer, some Derby fans felt Malone could have a second chance at Pride Park but the emergence of Lee Buchanan squashed that.

Buchanan has been one of the Derby’s standout players this season. The academy product has an abundance of ability and is reportedly attracting Premier League interest which we covered here.

Malone, meanwhile, has found a home at Millwall in a more attack-minded role.

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The 29-year-old has been deployed as a left wingback with licence to get forward. He has scored three goals in 20 Championship starts this season.

Ironically, only Derby striker Colin Kazim-Richards has scored more goals than Malone this season with Martyn Waghorn, Jason Knight and Graeme Shinnie stuck on two each.

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