Millwall have confirmed the signing of Stoke City midfielder Ryan Woods on a loan deal until the end of the season.
It emerged earlier in the week that Lions boss Gary Rowett was targeting a reunion with the 26-year-old, having worked with him during his short stint as Potters manager last season.
That was confirmed as much on Friday morning, with Rowett calling him his “number one target” during the January transfer window following the announcement.
“It’s great to have him here – I know him well from working with him at Stoke,” the Millwall manager told the club’s official website.
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“He’s a top midfielder in his position and he’s very flexible. People may pigeon-hole him as a defensive midfielder in terms of playing a holding role and getting on the ball, but we’ve found previously that he can step in higher up the pitch and make things happen.
“The beauty of bringing him in is that he’s got a bit of everything. He can pass the ball with a bit of extra composure and technicality that we need, but he is also a feisty character and competitive – I’m sure the fans will love him. He brings something different to what we’ve got.”
It’s a timely addition for Millwall, who are currently light in midfield with Shaun Williams suspended after picking up a red card at Stoke last weekend, with Ryan Leonard and Ben Thompson both sidelined with injuries.
It’s become increasingly apparent that he wasn’t to have much of a role to play under Stoke manager Michael O’Neill. He’s not featured for the Potters since early December, an unused substitute in six of their last seven games.
Millwall have been in good form under Rowett and sit eighth in the table, just one point off the play-offs, while Stoke are enjoying a resurgence with O’Neill at the helm and have now moved out of the relegation zone, sitting one place above.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be here,” Woods himself said. “It’s been a frustrating period for me over the last few months, but I’m pleased to get the deal done and can’t wait to get going.
“The lads and the club are doing a great job in the League at the moment, and hopefully I can come and add to that.”
“I know Gary and the staff really well and he played a big part in getting me here. I’ve played against a lot of the lads before as well, so hopefully it will be easy for me to settle in and get going as quickly as possible.
“I’d like to think that I will add a bit of composure on the ball and have a decent range of passing. I’ll always give 110% and let the fans and the club be the judge of my performances.”