New loan signing Izzy Brown has chosen Rotherham United ahead of several top Championship clubs, manager Alan Stubbs has revealed.
The teenage winger from Chelsea has signed a season-long deal with the Millers despite interest from a number of more high-profile teams.
The 19-year-old forward, who former Chelsea manager Joe Mourinho has tipped to play for England, is Stubbs’ 10th summer recruit, and there are more to come before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
“We’re delighted we’ve been allowed to take one of Chelsea’s rising talents,” said Stubbs, two games into his first season in the English second tier. “He’s a really attacking player who brings pace and power, which is something I’ve wanted to add to the forward area.
“I think there were at least half a dozen clubs who wanted him, including teams who are in the top six now in the division.
Stubbs talked on the phone with Brown and also met him in person before the deal went through.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing him on the grass and I know he’s really looking forward to coming here and showing people what he can do,” the manager added. “You’ll have to ask him why he chose Rotherham.”
The England Under-19 international, who has made one senior appearance for Chelsea and spent last season on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, could go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s clash against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
“He’s the type of player who gets fans out of their seats,” Stubbs said. “He’s very exciting. Chelsea see him as someone who can potentially play in their first team in the future.
“It’s a season-long loan. It’s great from our point of view. It’s not one where he could have a fantastic six months and then go somewhere else.”
The Millers boss confirmed he still wants to sign a striker and a left-back, and predicted the club’s biggest transfer outlay - the near-£500,000 they paid earlier this month to take Jon Taylor from Peterborough - could be exceeded.
“I don’t see any reason why we won’t break the record again if the right player becomes available,” he said. “The chairman (Tony Stewart) has been very helpful. He’s been there for me. When a player has come along who we see as the right fit, he’s been very supportive.
“We’re still after a striker and a left-back. There may be a couple more. Right now, with Joe Mattock being our only recognised first-team left-back, we do need another left-back in case something happens to Joe and to provide competition for him.”
Rotherham midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey can’t play against his parent club tomorrow, and the Millers will give centre-half Kirk Broadfoot, who missed last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa, as long as possible to prove his fitness after an injection in his back.
“We’re hoping Broady will be okay, but we’re not too sure,” Stubbs said. “It will be a last-minute decision.”