End of an era as Ben Wiles leaves Rotherham United and signs for Huddersfield Town
ROTHERHAM United today parted company with their longest-serving player as midfielder Ben Wiles ended his 15-year association with the club to join Championship rivals Huddersfield Town.
The fee has been officially described as "undisclosed" but the Advertiser understands the Terriers are paying a seven-figure amount, with significant potential add-ons, to land the 24-year-old who was in the last year of his contract at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Rawmarsh-raised Wiles joined the Millers when he was nine and progressed through the youth ranks to become a first-team regular in the 2019/20 campaign. In 193 appearances for the club he scored 17 goals.
Rotherham, who had offered him a new contract, were prepared to sell one of their star men rather than risk losing him for nothing at the end of the campaign.
"It was pretty straightforward really," said manager Matt Taylor. "Huddersfield met our valuation of him."
Wiles produced some superb displays for the Millers and played his part in two League One promotions, a victory in the final of the Papa Johns Trophy at Wembley, where he was among the scorers, and last season's second-tier survival.
Rotherham rejected multiple £2-million-plus offers from Premier-League-bound Burnley last summer and the player admitted his performances suffered as a result of that move not going through.
He was getting back to his best but then suffered a December 26 knee injury that required surgery and sidelined him for four months.
Taylor, who took the New York hot-seat in October, said "When I came in, a lot of talk was around Ben. The interest at the start of the season hadn't materialised into anything and he hadn't quite got his form back to where he wanted it or the club wanted and needed it.
"We got him close to it. I remember the Sheffield United and Burnley games in which he scored. He started getting goals under his belt again and was playing well.
"What then happened over the festive period was a real blow for ourselves in our battle to stay in the league and also for him because I think everyone expected more interest in him in the January window. It's been a difficult 12 months for him."
Wiles had started every match this term before sitting out last week's game at Sunderland. The reason given for his absence was an issue with a hip flexor.
"He's fought his way back to fitness," Taylor said. "He's a likeable lad and he's obviously a talented player. It's probably the right time for him to go for all involved."
Wiles, who has signed a three-year deal, won't have to wait long for a reunion with his old teammates as Huddersfield, managed by former Rotherham boss Neil Warnock, face the Millers at the John Smith's Stadium in the first match after the international break on September 16.