Neil Harris has expressed his delight after completing the season-long loan signing of midfielder Jayson Molumby from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Irish Under 21 captain Molumby’s arrival boosts Harris’ midfield options, and the manager gladly discloses the burning desire of the player to ply his trade at The Den this term.
“Jayson was asked himself where he thought his immediate future lied a few weeks ago, and his suggestion to Brighton was Millwall, because of the way he plays,” Harris says.
“That was very interesting and without any prompting from us at all. He sees himself fitting the bill, and his character when I’ve spoken to him shows him as a passionate young man, who wants to play. We’re very excited to work with Jayson. He had an exceptional summer at the Toulon Tournament with Ireland, and he’s got the potential to be a good all-round midfield player. We don’t take many loans from Premier League clubs – especially young ones – firstly because they’re not always the right character we want to take, and secondly because we have to be mindful of what we’ve got in our own club.
“Within our setup at the moment, I believe we have room for a central midfield player of Jayson’s qualities. We also have some cracking young boys in the U23s and U18s who at the moment aren’t quite ready to step in, so it gives them a chance to further develop.”
The boss further elaborates on the commitment of Molumby to progress as a player, and describes his attributes on the field.
“Jayson is a competitive lad who gets around the pitch, and also an excellent footballer. He can really play and has a great passing range.
“He signed a new long-term contract with Brighton before coming here, and they hold him in very high regard. He comes in to help us as a group, he comes in to want to develop himself, and Brighton are happy to have a relationship with us to allow their player to develop.”
Harris explains how Molumby wants to pick up valuable senior experience during his time at the club, as well as competing at the highest level possible in the Championship.
“It’s telling of his character that he could have stayed at Brighton this season, trained with the first team and maybe got a game, but he wanted to step out and try to play regularly at Championship level.
“He had opportunities to go the division below and wear the number eight shirt, but he wanted to come here and test himself and compete with the players we’ve got.
“They are the characteristics you want when you bring in players from the level above. I’ve told Jayson that he comes with the right pedigree, passion and we’re giving him the platform to develop. It’s down to him and down to us to make it work.”
Molumby will compete for a place with teammates including senior Irish international Shaun Williams, a task Harris is confident will improve the youngster.
“Jayson competes with Shaun Williams who is an Irish international, Ryan Leonard who has been outstanding for a number of years and who we will still see the best from, and Ben Thompson who has shone through to probably be a pivotal player for us this season.
“He has people to compete with, work alongside and look up to, and he has Dave Livermore to guide him who knows what it takes to play in the centre of the park for Millwall Football Club.
“He wants to learn, to develop and to fit into our dressing room. He’s a real positive one.”
Harris wraps up by analysing Molumby’s fitness levels after an extended summer break following his international exploits, and says matters will be taken on a daily basis to get him up to speed.
“Jayson had an exceptional summer internationally, and then had an extended summer without training a great deal.
“So he comes in behind our group in terms of fitness – he won’t be involved against Southend or Real Sociedad, and he’s probably unlikely to be involved against Preston in our first game of the season. That’s just because there’s no point taking the risk.
“He’s a naturally fit lad, he has a big heart and wants to be involved. Leading into the second week of the season and the West Brom games, that looks more realistic for him. We’ll take it a day at a time with him – he trained with the group for an hour on his arrival, and he’ll train with the group staying behind at Calmont while we go to Southend. We’ll adjust his patterns during the week to suit what the rest of the boys do.”