Why Rotherham United are the perfect fit for £8-million man Arvin Appiah
ROTHERHAM United are the team to help an £8 million talent make up for four lost years abroad, believes manager Matt Taylor.
Winger Arvin Appiah was sold for that eye-catching sum back in 2019 and is now looking to reignite his career after joining the Millers on a season-long loan from Spanish La Liga side Almeria.
Still only 22, the former Nottingham Forest flyer made his league debut for his new side as a substitute against Leicester City last weekend, started the midweek Carabao Cup clash at Stoke City and is now looking for more action when second-placed Norwich City are the Championship visitors to AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday.
“We are a club of opportunity,” said Taylor. “His move here is a great chance for him to showcase his talent.
“He's a player who complements what we've got. He's got speed and mobility and is good in one-v-one situations. I admired him five years ago when he was coming through that fantastic youth system at Forest.
“Big-money moves for young players don't always work out. If you're a footballer, you want to play football. For whatever reasons, Arvin hasn't played the amount of matches he would have liked.”
The England under-19 international was attracting interest from Manchester United when he left the City Ground after only eight appearances as a teenager for a new challenge in Europe.
The move there didn't work out as he'd wished and his appearances in Spain, for Almeria and in loan spells at Lugo, Tenerife and Malaga, total less than 100.
The Millers are helping the player build up his fitness as he'd had little game-time before agreeing to the move to South Yorkshire.
“Once we really get into him and demand that he drives forward and takes on players as his first thought, he will be a real threat,” Taylor said.
“I don't need to play him too safe. I don't want him to have any fear of giving the ball away or being tackled. He is there to take us up the pitch.”
Rotherham have tried to sign him in the past, but a deadline-day attempt in the 2022 January transfer window when Paul Warne was in charge came to nothing.
“The Covid pandemic, injuries, a bit of luck and a bit of form went against him in Spain and he's not quite where he wants to be in terms of his progression,” Taylor said.
“He's experienced an awful lot for a 22-year-old. We need to get him back to enjoying his football and feeling comfortable and being a front-foot player. He'll really suit our way of playing.”
Dutch-born Appiah, who moved to Nottingham when he was six, became the Millers' 11th summer signing when the deal was announced last Friday. His contract with Almeria expires at the end of the season.
Taylor is delighted to have added him to the squad and is looking for more recruits before the window closes at 11pm tomorrow.
Norwich are one of the big-hitters in the second tier but facing them won't faze the new boy who has gone up against slightly more illustrious opponents quite recently.
The last time he pulled on an Almeria shirt, two weeks ago, it was as part of the squad that took on Real Madrid!
ONE TO WATCH
Jon Rowe has scored five goals in five matches for Norwich this season and is one of the Championship’s stand-out performers so far this season. A product of the Canaries youth system, the winger has 13 Premier League games to his name. After a quiet year last term when he made only three second-tier appearances, the 20-year-old is certainly making up for lost time.
City won 4-0 at Huddersfield Town in their last league game and triumphed 1-0 at Bristol City 1-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Apr 20, 2023, Championship: Norwich 0 Millers 0
Nov 5, 2022, Championship: Millers 1 Norwich 2
Feb 20, 2021, Championship: Norwich 1 Millers 0
Oct 17, 2020, Championship: Millers 1 Norwich 2
Mar 16, 2019, Championship: Millers 1 Norwich 2
David Wagner took charge of Norwich in January and had the Canaries in play-off contention last term. The 51-year-old German started out in management by taking charge of Borussia Dortmund’s second team and then moved to England and led Huddersfield Town to promotion to the Premier League in 2017 before keeping them up the following year. He joined the Canaries after a spell with Young Boys in Switzerland.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Sam Barrott’s last visit to New York Stadium came last December when the Millers were beaten 3-1 by Bristol City in the Championship in the first match back after the World Cup break. The West Yorkshire official has been an EFL referee since 2020. He was a youth-team player with Halifax Town until an injury persuaded him to pick up a whistle instead of playing. In three matches this season he has shown 15 yellow cards and two reds.
The bookmakers fancy Norwich, offering 3/4 on an away win and 10/3 on a Rotherham victory. The draw is 13/5. The Canaries have won three and drawn one of their four league games.