Millwall manager explains transfer decision made by Sunderland and Middlesbrough target
The defender remained with the Lions despite strong interest from Sunderland and Middlesbrough over the last month.
Millwall manager Gary Rowett has revealed why reported Sunderland target Charlie Cresswell wanted to remain at the club ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the two sides.
The on-loan Leeds United defender has been in fine form as the Lions look to secure a place in the Championship play-offs and reportedly came to the attention of several clubs over the last month. After securing the first loan move of his career, the England Under-21 defender made an immediate impact with Rowett’s side, scoring twice on his debut in a 2-0 win against Stoke City on the opening day of the season.
Cresswell has gone on to score four goals and provide on assist in 18 appearances in all competitions - although after featuring in Millwall’s 3-0 away defeat at Sunderland he has been an unused substitute in five of the last six Championship fixtures.
The Black Cats were not the only club to be linked with a move for the 20-year-old during the January transfer window after North East rivals Middlesbrough were said to be considering a move for the youngster. Stoke City were also linked with a late move for Cresswell after they allowed Australian international centre-back Harry Souttar to join Leicester City in a reported £15m deal in the final hours of the transfer window.
However, Millwall boss Rowett has revealed the defender wanted to stay at The Den and is confident he will force his way back into his side over the coming weeks.
He told the South London Press: “My understanding is that he (Cresswell) wanted to stay because he is really enjoying his time here and understands that this is all part of the process. Of course he wants to play more minutes. But I think he’ll get that opportunity. Sometimes as a manager, all you can do is say what you think will happen.”
Sunderland can move above their play-off rivals with a win on Saturday.