Why manager Matt Taylor wants Rotherham United to spend more than a £1 million on a player again

The Millers broke their transfer record twice during the summer window.
Matt TaylorMatt Taylor
Matt Taylor

ROTHERHAM United made a £1-million-plus statement of intent in the closing hours of the transfer window and manager Matt Taylor didn't bat an eyelid.

The seven-figure fee the club committed themselves to paying on the eve of September 1 deadline day to make striker Sam Nombe a Miller more than doubles their previous highest outlay on a player.

But Taylor took it in his stride and wants to see it happening more often as he bids to establish Rotherham as long-term members of the Championship following a six-year spell of yo-yoing between the second tier and League One before his arrival last October.

People will say we've smashed the transfer record ... we have to start doing that,” he said. “We have to push ourselves to bigger limits than we have done previously, and not be scared of it.

“I'm not scared of failing, I'm scared of not being good enough by not having the players you need at your disposal. I don't want to think of what could have been.

“We have to change the mindset of this club. It's certainly something I've tried to do from day one. We have to be ambitious in the (transfer) market. Judging by the inflated market elsewhere - good grief - I think, with Sam, that we've got a good deal.”

Taylor describes the expenditure as “an investment”, saying it's far better to spend heavily on tying a player to a permanent contract than it is to line other clubs' pockets by focusing on loans.

He happily admits that Nombe will be sold on for a profit if he proves himself at his new level following his step up from third-tier Exeter City.

“Sam's 24 years old and a centre-forward with the kind of profile we want,” the boss said. “We can stagger everything financially over a period of time so it's not the big hit straight away.

“I just don't see us going continually into the loan market as it's something that isn't financially sustainable. You're paying big loan fees for someone who isn't your own player.

“With Sam, we get to work with him, develop him, improve him. Like with any of our centre-forwards under the age of 26/27, if he's scoring at the rate of five goals in five games or even five in ten we'll sell him.”

Nombe, who started out at MK Dons before moving to Exeter in 2021 when Taylor was in charge at St James Park, made his Millers debut as a second-half substitute in last Saturday's 2-1 triumph over Norwich City.

His power and willingness were evident but it was a quiet start for the new boy.

“We've got to give him time for his game to get up to Championship speed,” Taylor said. “He had an experience of it (11 games) three and a bit years ago when he went on loan to Luton Town and he wasn't quite ready then, but we certainly feel he is ready to take it on now.”

Nombe, who hit the target 17 times last season for Exeter, says he's a better player than the one who headed temporarily to Kenilworth Road from MK in 2020.

“I have a better understanding of my game and understand how I can impact matches more and bring my presence into them,” he said.