FORGOTTEN man Ben Purrington will be given the chance to resurrect his Rotherham United career if he decides he wants to commit his future to the club.
The defender (pictured) has spent the season out on loan and is preparing for Charlton Athletic's League One play-off semi-final first leg at Doncaster Rovers this Sunday.
But manager Paul Warne says the 22-year-old left-back, who has a year left on his deal at AESSEAL New York Stadium, could still wear a Millers shirt again.
“If he wants to come back and compete, then that is absolutely fine. I haven't shut the door on him, anything but,” the boss said.
“I haven't contacted him for a bit because he's going into the play-offs and doesn't need me interfering with his mind.
“I will have a conversation with him once his season ends and see where is heart is at. He'd have a clean slate if he did come back here to compete.”
Purrington was the first major signing recommended by former head of recruitment Jamie Johnson and arrived from Plymouth Argyle for a £300,000 fee in January 2017.
However, after initially impressing, he failed to oust Joe Mattock from the left-back berth and joined AFC Wimbledon on loan last summer before switching to the Addicks in January.
“Ben's a really good left-back and is of an age where he wants to play every week,” Warne said. “In pre-season last year I had a conversation with him.
“I saw Joe as just being in front of him. This summer, I'll have to have another conversation with him to see if he wants to come back and compete or if he sees his future elsewhere.
“If Ben comes back in pre-season and knocks Joe out of the water, then fine. If he comes back and thinks it's going to be too difficult to get back in the team and wants to go and play somewhere else, that would be a different conversation.”
Purrington has been a regular starter for Charlton, finishing on the losing side only once in 18 appearances, and the London club could make a bid to keep him.
“We've watched his games. He's done really well,” Warne said.
“As things stand at the moment, Ben will be joining the group for pre-season and then we'll see where we are.”
After their relegation from the Championship, Rotherham are on the verge of announcing their retained list, with only a decision on out-of-contract midfielder Darren Potter occupying Warne's thoughts this week.
“We're pretty clear,” the boss said. “There's only one player we're uncertain on. A couple of players feel they haven't had enough game-time this year and want to move on. I completely understand that. If it works for the club and the player then that will happen.”
The Millers remain in talks with wingers Jon Taylor, Ryan Williams, Joe Newell and Anthony Forde, all of whom are at the end of their deals, and Mattock.
The club have a 12-month option on Players' Player of the Year Mattock but would like to see him sign a longer contract.
“We're close on a couple and we're close on a couple of new signings as well,” Warne said.
“Regrettably, I think a couple of our wingers will play their football elsewhere. I understand that. They want to give themselves an opportunity to play in the Championship again next year.”
Other players who have spent the season out on loan and are at the end of their contracts — attacker David Ball, centre-halves Dominic Ball and Manny Onariase and winger Alex Bray — are expected to leave.
This article first appeared in the Advertiser