Ryan Tunnicliffe has been forced to bide his time at Millwall. Thanks to the impressive form of Shaun Williams and George Saville, the one-time Manchester United prospect had to wait until the final game of September to make his first start for The Lions – and that only came about due to Williams’ serious knee injury.
Though, with Tunnicliffe now set for an extended run in the team, he could hardly have made a better impression at the weekend. The 24-year-old was excellent in a 2-0 win against Birmingham City, capping a Man of the Match performance with his first goal in Millwall colours.
Tunnicliffe insists that he wants to put an end to the ‘stop-start’ nature of his young career this summer. And moving to The Den could prove to be the making of a player who once partnered Paul Pogba in centre midfield for United’s youth team.
Millwall’s gain, however, could be Rangers’ loss. The Daily Mail reported in July that Rangers were in talks with Tunnicliffe after he was released by Fulham but the tenacious midfielder insists that he rejected all offers to sign for the Championship outfit.
“I had a few [offers]. A few people were saying they were interested. But I met with the gaffer here and he sold the club to me,” Tunnicliffe told the NewsShopper.
“I’ve never had it where the manager has met me and done a presentation on me and how Millwall like to play. It made me feel wanted. And I came out of that meeting and said to my agent ‘that’s somewhere I’d love to play, especially under the boss (Neil Harris).’”
Obviously, Rangers did not make the same impression during their negotiations with the talented midfielder.
And considering that the Ibrox giants are hardly short of options in central midfield, Carlos Pena, Graham Dorrans and Ryan Jack all arriving in the summer, there’s little reason to believe Tunnicliffe would have been granted the regular first-team starts he requires.
Choosing Millwall over Rangers, on the basis of his excellent performance on Saturday, could be the making of this one-time teenage star-in-waiting.