Rotherham United: Liam Ridehalgh aims to put down roots

Heads up: Liam Ridehalgh, right, in action against Barnet
Heads up: Liam Ridehalgh, right, in action against Barnet
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YOUNG Liam Ridehalgh craves the stability of a permanent home.

For the last 18 months, the left-back has been farmed out on loan to Swindon Town, Chesterfield (twice) and Rotherham United by parent club Huddersfield Town. Although Ridehalgh is highly regarded by the West Yorkshire club, they have deemed the 21-year-old not ready to ply his trade on a consistent basis in the Championship.

Now Ridehalgh is continuing to further his football education under the watchful eye of Millers boss Steve Evans.

With Ridehalgh having shone in his seven appearances for Rotherham, it was no surprise Evans opted to extend his loan deal until the end of the 2012/13 season on Monday.

But Ridehalgh, out of contract at Huddersfield in the summer, is happy to be staying with the Millers for the foreseeable future. But he has told The Star he is looking to put some roots down at one club sooner rather than later.

“It is not ideal going on loan,” he conceded. “I have been on loan for the last two seasons. It is not easy when you come in and out of clubs.

“But I have really enjoyed my time at Rotherham; the stadium speaks for itself, the lads are brilliant and the manager is really good as well.

“I am really happy to have a good, solid four months of playing football. Hopefully I can play every game and be a big part of a successful team.”

Asked whether the uncertainty over his long-term future gets him down, Ridehalgh replied: “No, not really.

“I am not needed at Huddersfield so it is for my benefit and the club’s that I go out on loan and get some games.

“You do think sometimes ‘When am I going to settle down’. There are people at clubs who have signed two to three year deals and are settled. On loan, you are always moving.”

Ridehalgh says Huddersfield are sending scouts to all Rotherham’s matches to keep close tabs on his progress. He is keeping tight-lipped over the possibility of a permanent switch to the League Two club.

“I am not sure what my situation is at Huddersfield,” Ridehalgh acknowledged. “I’m sure I will get a call or have a meeting with them towards the end of the season.

“I am not really thinking about my future now. It is not for me to say what’s going to happen. That’s for the two clubs to agree on.

“I just want to do really well for Rotherham and we will see what happens in the summer. If I concentrate on playing well for Rotherham, that will take care of itself.”

Simon Grayson, the Terriers manager, says they will assess Ridehalgh’s situation in the summer.

“Liam has done well; he is still young and learning,” he said. “We’ve seen many players go out on loan and become better for it. Chris Atkinson (also loaned to Chesterfield this season) is proof of that.”

*Did you know? Ridehalgh has played 26 times for Huddersfield, making 21 starts in all competitions. His last Terriers outing came in April 2011, a 2-0 triumph at Tranmere Rovers.