Millwall Loanee Impresses During League One Loan Spell

Millwall defender Alex Mitchell is currently on loan at League One side Lincoln City, and it seems the youngster is impressing in his spell there.

22-year-old Mitchell penned a new deal with the Lions before departing on loan in the summer. He switched to the League One side, having previously enjoyed a successful spell with St Johnstone in Scotland. Whilst north of the border, he was named as their Young Player of the Year, playing 29 matches.

The London-born stopper had previously enjoyed loan spells in London, firstly with Bromley and then Leyton Orient in League Two. When he departed for Mark Kennedy’s Imps, the then Millwall manager Gary Rowett said, “Certainly for him, it’s a great opportunity to show what he can do, and if he does well at this next step for him, then either he’s going to be in our team or not in our team. So that’s the next little bit for him.”

Both Kennedy and Rowett have since left their posts, but that hasn’t changed Mitchell’s position. He’s still eager to impress in League One so he can stake a claim for a spot in Millwall’s team, but how is he doing?

Alex Mitchell at Lincoln

Mitchell made his debut for the Imps in a 3-0 victory against Blackpool but started his first game a week later. He played the whole 90 minutes as the Imps held Premier League Sheffield United to a 0-0 draw before winning on penalties.

That gave Mark Kennedy food for thought as Mitchell looked to force his way into a settled back three. Sean Roughan, Paudie O’Connor, and Adam Jackson made up the Imps’ defence, and Mitchell had a fight on his hands to break into the team.

He did keep his place for draws against Carlisle and Bristol Rovers, but the team’s form slumped as Kennedy entered the final month of his tenure. Mitchell was dropped for the defeat at Portsmouth but clawed his way back into the side as the Imps were narrowly beaten by West Ham.

Since then, he has become a mainstay of the side, and today he was named as the club’s Player of the Month by respected fan site The Stacey West. Their patrons rate each player after a game, and Mitchell not only got the highest rating of the month but also secured three Man of the Match ratings. He even bagged a goal, the only one of a challenging encounter against Fleetwood that came just days after Kennedy was sacked.

It’s often the supporters a player needs to win over, but Mitchell’s no-nonsense approach has endeared him to the Lincoln faithful quickly. Even in a month where the manager who signed him was sacked, he’s not only kept his place but kept his levels consistent as well.

Stats

The stats back up the supporters’ impressions of Mitchell, who ranks among the best for certain defensive metrics. According to stats from Wyscout, Mitchell is second for the percentage of defensive duels won for the Imps, with captain Paudie O’Connor the only outfield player above him.

He’s also third for successful defensive actions per 90, behind fellow loanee Jordan Burroughs and O’Connor. Interestingly, he is one of the cleanest players on the Imps team, with just 0.08 fouls per 90 minutes of action. Only the two goalkeepers, with no fouls against, have lower numbers.

Conclusion

Lincoln are in a good position in League One, and Mitchell has played a key role in helping them get there. He’s proving to be committed, comfortable on the ball, and clean but committed in the challenge.

If he continues this vein of form, it might be difficult for a new Millwall manager to ignore him when he returns to the club, be it at the end of the season or in January.

 

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