The Advertiser's Rotherham United player ratings for 2020/21

The Advertiser's Rotherham United player ratings for 2020/21

By Paul Davis | 21/05/2021

The Advertiser's Rotherham United player ratings for 2020/21
Wes Harding


WES Harding was the only player to appear in every match for Rotherham United last season.

The right-back, who also played often as a wing-back and sometimes at centre-half, played a part in all 46 Championship games plus the EFL Cup tie at League Two Salford City and the FA Cup clash at Premier League Everton

In total, the Millers used 26 players while a further six made it on to the bench but not on to the pitch.

Harding, a summer signing from Birmingham City, was named Advertiser Player of the Year.

Here are the playing stats and ratings for the season:


Wes Harding 

48 appearances, 0 goals

Quietly got on with playing well in a variety of positions. No fuss, no drop in standards, just a sustained impact throughout the campaign. Athletic, strong and quick, he was decent on the ball, delivered a good cross and was a hard worker out of possession. Can be proud of his first year with the club.

Rating: 8.5/10


Michael Smith 

46, 10

Ran his blood to water for the cause. He’ll never be a prolific scorer but the frontman was again crucial to the Millers’ style of play. A mobile and grafting presence, few centre-halves got the better of him. A bigger club probably await next season and Smith has earned his move in his three-and-a-half seasons at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Rating: 7.5/10


Ben Wiles 

45, 2

Hampered at times by being asked to play at left-back or out wide instead of in his favoured role in central midfield. Quick, direct and full of attacking intent, he delivered some really telling performances but was guilty of shedding possession more than he needed to. His potential hasn’t gone unnoticed and there’s Championship interest in him.

Rating: 6.5/10


Michael Ihiekwe 

44, 2

Made a contribution in both boxes but wasn’t quite the commanding presence he’d been in the League One promotion campaign the previous year.

Rating: 6/10


Freddie Ladapo 

43, 9

His finishing ranged from Premier League to Sunday League. A Millers legend for his exploits at Hillsborough, he flattered and flashed here and there but wasn’t a sustained threat throughout games and won’t have been happy at how much time he spent on the bench. The opposite of Smith in that he’s not a team player.

Rating: 6/10


Matt Crooks 

42, 7

Unlikely to be seen in a Rotherham shirt again as Championship clubs want him. The opposition had no answer to his size, pace and running power when he was at his best. An unbelievable athlete whose stats were off the chart in many games, he was a major attacking weapon while his defensive contribution was sometimes overlooked. Another player who owes the Millers nothing.

Rating: 7.5/10


Angus MacDonald 

40, 1

Came good in the second half of the season after a mixed start when he was freakishly unlucky with how many own goals he conceded. A strong, committed presence at the heart of the defence.

Rating: 7/10


Jamie Lindsay 

37, 3

Had developed into a true Championship player and was one of Rotherham’s key men until a hamstring injury suffered in February cost him two months of his season. Covered the ground, relished a tackle, led the press and had become the heartbeat of the side. His absence was a huge blow. 

Rating: 7/10


Dan Barlaser 

34, 3

Some good moments but he didn’t quite hit the heights of his League One loan season. 3-5-2 didn’t suit him as much as the old 4-4-2 system when he constantly hit the wingers with those pinpoint ‘diags’.

Rating: 6/10


Matt Olosunde 

33, 1

Peaked with that stunning display at Everton in the FA Cup in January and suffered a dip after that. On form, he was a dangerous, mazy runner in attack and shirked nothing defensively. Wing-back suited his speed and energy.

Rating: 6/10


Richard Wood 

32, 2

The captain was given a new lease of life by the 3-5-2 formation. In the middle of a three-man backline, he could lead, inspire, organise, bring out the best in the players around him. Has lost none of his combativeness and was a big physical presence in both boxes. Thirty-five now but still a towering figure for the Millers.

Rating: 8/10


George Hirst 

32, 0

Not as good as the hype suggested and found the Championship tough going. A year in League One would have done him more good because this was a loan season of cameos, frustration and no goals that was of little use to either him or Rotherham.

Rating: 4/10


Jamal Blackman 

29, 0

For a big man, the goalkeeper lacked courage and decisiveness and cost Rotherham points early in his loan spell. Looked a better proposition late in the season when he was restored to the side following the concussion suffered by Viktor Johansson.

Rating: 6/10


Florian Jozefzoon 

25, 0

Some bright contributions — setting up Matt Crooks’ winner at home to Preston North End and putting the ball right on the head of Michael Smith for the opener at Hillsborough — but not enough of them.

Rating: 5/10


Ryan Giles 

23, 2

Was on fire at the start of his loan spell, scoring twice in his first two outings, took a couple of steps backwards, then came back with a vengeance. Premier League quality in the dancing feet of the Wolves loanee whose delivery from the left could be deadly. Not a left-back and not really a wing-back either because he doesn’t care much for defending. As a winger, he could be something else.

Rating: 7/10


Viktor Johansson 

21, 0

At least Rotherham had one brave keeper in their first-team squad. Won his battle with Jamal Blackman and supporters loved the young Swede’s complete lack of regard for his own safety and his stunning shot-stopping. Has a rash decision in him but we can live with that, can’t we? The fans greeting the Viking for the first time next season will be some scene. Everything a Millers player should be.

Rating: 8/10


Lewis Wing 

20, 2

Good feet, good brain, good engine, good everything. He was a superb January loan signing from Middlesbrough and quickly became an influential member of the dressing room. Shame the Millers didn’t have him all season. They might have stayed up if he’d joined last summer.

Rating: 8/10


Shaun MacDonald 

20, 0

Hit hard by injuries again. It was great to see him produce that spell early doors when Millers fans got to see just what a gifted midfielder he is when he’s fit. Carried out that defensive-midfield role better than anyone. Always looked after the ball.

Rating: 6/10


Kieran Sadlier 

16, 1

Another to suffer at the hands of injuries. Was making a reasonable start to his Millers career when a November ankle problem derailed him. By the time he came back, Rotherham were playing 3-5-2 and the winger’s chances were limited.

Rating: 5.5/10


Clark Robertson 

16, 0

A polished centre-half when fit but just not fit often enough. It’s sad that his three-year spell at New York will be remembered more for his absences than for what an accomplished Millers player he was.

Rating: 6/10


Joe Mattock 

15, 0

Was doing okay until a December ankle injury kept him out until the final month.

Rating: 5/10


Kyle Vassell 

14, 0

Capable of the unexpected, capable of the excellent, capable of the awful. Rotherham saw him as an impact sub anywhere across the frontline, he saw himself as a starter down the middle and a loan parting of the ways in January duly followed.

Rating: 5/10


Trevor Clarke 

10, 0

Not considered a first-choice pick anywhere on the left flank and it was a tough season of little game-time for the Irishman. Only one start.

Rating: 5/10


Chiedozie Ogbene 

12, 0

Took his League One form into the Championship but, after just four games, injury cruelly robbed him of six months of his campaign. Didn­t get back up to speed following his April return, although a man-of-the-match outing at Barnsley showed there could be big things to come again next season.

Rating: 5.5/10


Mikel Miller 

9, 0

A silky, elusive runner in full flow, he showed promising signs in attack, but his defensive shortcomings cost him his chance in the first team and he left on loan by his own choice. League One might be more to his liking next year.

Rating: 5.5/10


Billy Jones 

7, 0

The veteran was a good influence in the dressing room but was never going to be a regular starter. Spent too much time injured again and went out on loan at Crewe Alexandra in January.

Rating: 5/10


Players who were named as a substitute but never played: 

Adam Thompson

Josh Vickers

Curtis Tilt

Jake Cooper

Jacob Gratton

Jake Hull

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