Goal-getter heads Rotherham United's close-season wanted list

By Paul Davis | 01/05/2019

Goal-getter heads Rotherham United's close-season wanted list
Paul Warne

PAUL Warne has made a new goalscorer his top Rotherham United transfer target this summer.

After a brave fight for Championship survival, the Millers have made an immediate return to League One following last term's promotion.

Manager Warne accepts that the failure to land an attacker at the turn of the year has had an effect on the club's bid  to preserve their second-tier status.

“I think we've missed — and we missed out in the January window — another striker,” he said. 

“We need something different up front. We need a goalscorer.”

Michael Smith played up front on his own through injury for a spell when Jamie Proctor and Kyle Vassell were sidelined by surgery and Warne decided against starting Jerry Yates or recalling David Ball from his loan at Bradford City.

Michael Smith

The boss expects there to be several ins and outs at AESSEAL New York Stadium before August, although he'd like to hold on to the majority of his players.

“There is always spring-cleaning,” he said. “Every summer you need change. If you can, you keep the core of the squad together and change the periphery. 

“I don't think the squad needs ripping apart, although there are areas where we need to top up.

“We did well in League One last season. The lads are better now than they were 12 months ago. A lot of them are coming to their best ages.”

Smith, midfielder Will Vaulks, and centre-half Semi Ajayi are all under contract but could attract offers from Championship clubs when the season ends in May. 

The deals of wing quartet Jon Taylor, Ryan Williams, Anthony Forde and Joe Newell are all due to expire.

“If I can't renegotiate with players or convince them to stay, I'll replace them. That goes without saying,” Warne said. “There isn't anyone in my dressing room who I really want to get rid of.

“I also know that a few of them will be frustrated that they haven't played as much as they wanted to this year and might want a different challenge.”

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TRIAL FOR YOUNG MIDFIELDER

ROTHERHAM United are poised to make a decision about a second teenager they have had on trial.

A youngster from Ipswich Town has trained with the Millers and was given a chance to impress in last week's reserves clash against Doncaster Rovers.

Manager Paul Warne – who believes a deal for the first trialist, 19-year-old French winger Julien Lamy, will go through in the summer – watched the Rovers encounter and is now weighing up his next move.

The player, also aged 19, is a central midfielder.

“We had him training with us for a couple of weeks and I wanted to see him in a game,” Warne said.

Versions of these articles appeared in last Friday's Advertiser


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