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Millwall make 'difficult decision' to part company with Ireland striker O'Brien

Aiden O’Brien will move on at the end of the season, having played 226 times for the Championship club.

Aiden O'Brien playing for Ireland in a European Championship qualifier against Georgia in March 2019.
Aiden O'Brien playing for Ireland in a European Championship qualifier against Georgia in March 2019.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MILLWALL MANAGER GARY Rowett has revealed that Republic of Ireland international Aiden O’Brien will officially leave the club when the season ends on Wednesday.

The London-born striker started his professional career at Millwall, going on to make 226 appearances since his debut at the age of 17.

O’Brien has scored 44 times for the club but has found his opportunities limited this season. The 26-year-old, whose contract expires this summer, hasn’t played since February due to injury. 

“Aiden came to see me a while ago to ask about his situation and I couldn’t really give him anything definitive,” Rowett told the South London Press today. “He really wanted a steer and I told him that as we stand I think he has to move on and play. I think he understands that.

“He’s been at Millwall a long time and the fact he has been injured towards the end of this season has been tough for him. He hasn’t had those last few games with the team and in front of the fans. It’s a really tough ending for him.

“Every player gets to a point where they need a change and a fresh environment – for the good of Aiden’s career he probably needs that.

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“We at least need to give ourselves some flexibility to bring some other players into the group. It was a really difficult decision but one we felt was the right one for everyone.

“I have to say Aiden’s attitude has been brilliant this season and it was brilliant after I told him. He has to be massively commended for his professionalism.”

O’Brien, who has won five caps for Ireland, marked his senior international debut with a goal by scoring in a 1-1 draw with Poland in a September 2018 friendly. His most recent outing for the Boys in Green was in the 1-0 win at home to Georgia in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Having fallen out of the race for the Premier League by losing 4-3 at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, Millwall will conclude their Championship campaign with a home game against Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night.

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Paul Dollery

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