Gary Rowett has told the South London Press how Millwall have signed the best attacking left wingback in the league following Scott Malone’s switch from Derby County.
Malone joined Derby from Huddersfield Town in 2018.
The former Fulham man was a regular under Frank Lampard as Derby reached the 2018-19 playoff final, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley.
Malone, however, fell out of favour under Lampard’s successor Phillip Cocu and joined Millwall on loan for the 2020-21 campaign under former Derby boss Gary Rowett.
Malone’s contract at Derby was set to expire this summer, and the 30-year-old has now officially left the Rams after penning a two-year permanent deal at Millwall.
Speaking to South London Press, Rowett believes his side have picked up a bargain with other clubs keen on him.
“In my opinion he has been the best attacking left wing-back in the division if you look at his numbers. He has the second most chances in our team, which is incredible for a full-back. He has played a lot of games and he has great energy, pace and mobility. Scott Malone is an absolutely fantastic signing. I wasn’t always confident, because he had such a good season. But I was hopeful. And I was hopeful that Scottie appreciated about what the group had helped him do this season. I knew there would be other clubs seeing if they could pinch him,” Rowett explained.
Malone posted five goals and two assists for Millwall this past season.
The Lions finished in 11th place in the Championship, 18 points clear of Derby who only avoided relegation to League One on the final day of the season.
Some may wonder why Derby were content to move Malone on.
But the Rams decided to invest in their youth players, and Max Lowe came through at left-back last year before the emergence of Lee Buchanan this past season.
Wayne Rooney has dubbed Buchanan one of the best young left-backs in the country, and the England U21 international is among the club’s most valuable assets right now.