Rotherham United: Latest on Ben Purrington's future with the Millers
Ben Purrington has effectively been told he will not be first-choice left-back at Rotherham United next season, despite winning League One promotion last term.
Purrington, who cost the club £300,000 in 201, spent the entirety of last season out on loan, first at AFC Wimbledon and then at Charlton, where he scored in the club's 2-1 play-off final victory over Sunderland.
The door was initially left open for him by Paul Warne to have one last crack at forging a career in a Millers shirt, but now assistant Richie Barker has hinted he will continue to be Joe Mattock's understudy.
Barker understands that Purrington is likely to find that difficult to swallow, which all points to a possible exit this summer.
The 23-year-old has said he is open to the possibility of returning to Charlton next season, while other League One clubs would surely be interested in taking him.
“Ben has just had a season where he's played more than 50 games and, understandably, he must be keen to do that again next year,” Barker said.
“Sometimes you find it very difficult once you've played on a regular basis to come back and be an understudy to someone.
“Unfortunately for him, he is understudy to probably the most consistent left-back in League One. Joe Mattock has just been voted our Players' Player of the Year.
“If Ben played in any other position, he'd come back and probably go straight back in the team.”
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Purrington must be having regrets about his decision to join the Millers back in January 2017.
He was a big-money signing, recommended by former head of recruitment Jamie Johnson, but never really convinced Warne, who has picked him just 23 times in two and half seasons.
He made more starts on loan at the Addicks in the second half of last season than he has done at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The Exeter-born defender praised the management style of Charlton boss Lee Bowyer, so a return to the Addicks is on the cards.
“I'd be surprised if there wasn't interest from Charlton in keeping him, bearing in mind the big part he played in helping them to go up,” Barker admitted.
“It's a conversation that is going to have to take place.
“There will be interest in him from more than just Charlton. We have to weigh up what's good for Ben and what's good for Rotherham United. The final conclusion will be something that is right for him and right for us.”