Millers keen on returns for former players

Rotherham United are looking to the future as they build a squad for League One, but two players from the past might be a part of it.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 03 June, 2019, 16:19
Grant Ward during his previous spell with the Millers

Former midfielders Grant Ward and Tom Adeyemi are on their list of possible signings following their release from Ipswich, assistant boss Richie Barker has confirmed.

Both players had successful loans spells at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, Ward in 2015-16 and Adeyemi in 2016-17.

The club have not yet spoken to either player, but Barker believes it would be remiss of them not to consider them.

“They are definitely players who have come up on our radar,” he said.

“They are on a list of players for us to talk about.

“They are both players who have been at this club before. The gaffer knows them as people and everyone knows how important a player's character is when it comes to us making signings.

“Conversations with them haven't taken place but we wouldn't be doing our jobs properly if we didn't know that both were available.”

Ward and Adeyemi will have fond memories of their time in South Yorkshire.

Ward, signed by Steve Evans, came on a season-long loan from Tottenham and played 43 times, making a key contribution to the famous survival under Neil Warnock.

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He won both the goal of the season – for his stunning effort against Burnley – and the young player of the season award.

New boss Alan Stubbs tried to pay a club-record to sign him, but Ward, 24, chose Ipswich, where he played 98 times, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in December.

If the Millers are interested in signing Adeyemi they will have to do some rigorous medical checks.

The 27-year-old has not played since October 2017, just three months into his Ipswich career due to a host of injury problems, the last of which was Achilles surgery.

If they are sure it is the same player they had on loan in 2016-17, then the Millers are right to look at him as he was the shining light in a dismal year.

Signed on a season-long loan by Alan Stubbs, Adeyemi was the best player in Rotherham's record-breaking Championship relegation.

He made 30 appearances, scoring seven goals, and won the club's player of the season.

Boss Paul Warne, who took over midway through that season, tried to sign Adeyemi permanently, but the midfielder chose Ipswich, a move he might now regret.