An update has emerged regarding Mahlon Romeo’s failed move to Ipswich Town.
Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has revealed that the defender took a significant pay cut to join the south coast club over the likes of Ipswich and Sunderland.
South London Press reporter Alex Grace had reported that the Tractor Boys were interested in signing the right-back, but Cowley has claimed that Pompey’s Millwall connections may have helped seal the deal.
He told Hampshire Live: “We have to thank Millwall, I know they have been very good to us with loan players in the past and we are hopeful that he is going to be as successful as some of the previous loan players we have had from there.
“Also to Mahlon [Romeo], who took a significant pay cut to make it happen which shows his desire to want come here and want to play to Portsmouth. I think there is obviously connections between the two clubs.
“Luckily, there is a lot of people in his camp, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Shaun Williams and probably some of the Millwall players who have played at Portsmouth before have spoken well of the club. We are delighted to make it happen.”
Ipswich manager Paul Cook will surely be fuming reading these comments from Cowley. The fact that Romeo was willing to turn down the Blues’ advances and then take a ‘significant’ pay cut in order to join one of their divisional rivals will be frustrating for the manager, assuming that reports of the Tractor Boys’ interest were accurate.
Cook will also be gutted because of the potential importance of the signing. Kane Vincent-Young has started four of Ipswich’s league matches this season, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.74 in League One. However, injuries limited him to just seven appearances last term – averaging a score of 6.63 – and this suggests that he may not be able to be relied upon for an entire season.
This could be why Cook was keen to bring Romeo in, as the Millwall defender is an experienced, proven Championship player. The right-back is clearly rated highly by those at Pompey as, Cowley told Portsmouth’s official website: “He’s a boy who will bring us a great deal of athleticism and he’s versatile, with the ability to play on either side of the pitch.
“Mahlon is also incredibly dynamic and I think our supporters will love his all-action displays. It’s a brilliant signing for us.”
Romeo has shown that he can play consistently at a higher level than League One. In the past four seasons, the defender has played 148 Championship games for Millwall – including two campaigns of 41 appearances or more. This shows that he has the ability to play every week in the second tier, despite falling out of favour at the start of the current season.
It also highlights his impressive availability. He has not missed huge periods through injury, which means that he could have been a reliable option for Cook to call upon at right-back – something Vincent-Young is yet to prove that he can be. Therefore, the Ipswich coach must be fuming that the 25-year-old defender rejected Ipswich to take a pay cut at Pompey.