By Craig Scott

20th Sep, 2022 | 7:40am

Charlie Cresswell loan deal includes Leeds United penalty clauses if Millwall game-time drops - Phil Hay

Millwall will have to pay penalty clauses if Charlie Cresswell doesn’t play as much as Leeds United want him to while on loan at The Den, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

Cresswell, 20, joined the Lions on a season-long loan in July and has been in great form since, keeping two clean sheets, scoring three goals and supplying one assist in nine appearances across all competitions.

Writing on The Athletic website on Tuesday (20 September), Hay says that Millwall were not offered the young centre-back by Leeds in the summer and instead, the Championship club had to meet the Yorkshire side’s demands to be able to loan him.

Hay said: “Unlike [Jamie] Shackleton, Millwall were offered no chance to sign Cresswell permanently and while Leeds did not demand a loan fee before sending him south, the deal with Gary Rowett’s team will impose penalty clauses if he fails to play as much as Leeds want.

“There is also a provision for his parent club to recall him in January, though that safety net is for emergencies.

“The whole point of the transfer was that he stayed at The Den and played.”

Get him back?

Leeds’ defence hasn’t started the season too well.

Liam Cooper’s injury issues have played a major role in that, as has Junior Firpo’s as it’s meant Pascal Struijk has had to play at left-back.

But Diego Llorente’s form has been woeful and while Robin Koch has been better alongside the Spaniard in Jesse Marsch’s defence, he’s hardly a saint.

Cresswell as a big future in the game.

The Preston-born defender is a big lad already and he’s not only great defensively but he’s also good with the ball at his feet and can present a major threat at set-pieces down the other end of the pitch.

He’s been capped six times by England’s Under-21s and could have a future in the senior Three Lions team if he continues to impress at Millwall and then at Leeds once he eventually comes back.

But should Leeds get him back in January?

Hay says the termination clause is on there in case of emergency but if the form of Leeds’ senior defenders doesn’t improve then surely it’s something for Marsch and Victor Orta to consider.

In other Leeds United news, a Sky Sports pundit has reacted to Gary Neville’s suggestion that the 49ers’ potential ownership at Leeds would be a problem.