Jed Wallace again underlined his importance to Millwall last weekend by notching his 11th goal of the season in an impressive display against Bristol City.
But as the 4-1 victory drew the curtain on this season’s home campaign, was it potentially the last time the 27-year-old will be seen in a Lions shirt at The Den?
With just over 12 months left to run on his current contract, an intriguing summer awaits on what the Millwall hierarchy should do with arguably their most valuable asset.
The situation is simple – should Wallace not commit his long-term future to the club, they either cash in now or run the risk of losing the winger for free in the following summer.
On paper, there are very few viable arguments to sell unless an extortionate fee is offered, with Wallace’s goals and assists making him by far one of the most reliable elements in a sometimes faltering attack.
Following Saturday’s game, Millwall boss Gary Rowett was unable to provide any further light on Wallace’s situation, telling London Football Scene: “It’s something that’ll be ongoing and I think the only time that anyone hears anything will be if something gets finalised.
“As we know, with such a strange summer, a lot of things are going to be up in the air but what was nice was that his performance didn’t look like someone who was particularly concerned about their contractual situation.
“He looked bright, he looked free, he was moving well and looked a constant threat.”
Indeed, Wallace appears settled at the club but should he sign a new long-term deal and Millwall don’t end up winning promotion, he may have missed out on his last opportunity to play at the highest level.
Although ambitious, there is no doubt Wallace has improved immensely over the last 18-months under Rowett and this relationship as well as general club affinity could prove decisive in prolonging the player’s stay.
Despite being a key man under Neil Harris, Wallace is a much smarter player now – his delivery is more consistent, he’s a better finisher and he gets into better attacking positions.
He’s added versatility to his game as well, having played as a striker on numerous occasions this season and offering much more than just a wide outlet for the side.
The player has also struck up a good understanding with both Mahlon Romeo and Danny McNamara down the right, allowing him to drop deep and create from further back when Millwall find themselves under the cosh.
Wallace’s displays have seen him become not only one of Millwall’s most consistent performers, but one of the most effective in the whole of the Championship – scoring 10 or more league goals in the last two seasons.
The former Wolves player is also the only player to reach double figures for both goals and assists in the second tier last season, something few would have predicted when he initially arrived on loan back in January 2016.
Saturday’s strike was his 36th in 200 league outings for Millwall, taking his total number of goal contributions in that time to 69.
He may not be mentioned in the same breath as recent Millwall heroes but there’s no disputing Wallace has been a huge part of the Lions’ perceived overachievement in recent years and deserves all the plaudits that come his way.
Without him, Millwall would have struggled even more offensively this season, directly contributing to 16 of the Lions’ goals (more than a third of their 46 strikes) in a side with the second-lowest goal scoring rate in the top-half of the table (only Luton have netted less).
With Rowett keen to make up for this year’s failed Play-Off challenge by finishing in the top-six next season, losing Wallace would make that target much more difficult.
For the fee Millwall would be likely to receive, they would struggle to get anyone better so it would make more sense to keep hold of the player to give the side a genuine shot at promotion.
And if the summer recruitment further enhances Millwall’s attacking potency by relieving the current burden on Wallace’s shoulders, then just maybe he can cement his place as a legendary figure in a particular corner of south-east London….