Rotherham United’s Semi Ajayi’s stock is rising 

Millers defender Semi Ajayi
Millers defender Semi Ajayi

Rotherham manager Paul Warne is not concerned that Semi Ajayi is putting himself in the shop window with his international recognition.

Ajayi's form this season, in both midfield and defence, has seen him called up to Nigeria's squad in the first two international breaks, and he made his debut in September.

He also won man of the match in the Millers' 2-2 draw with Stoke – shown live on television – and his stock has never been higher.

Going to play with top class players with the Nigeria team could potentially turn Ajayi's head, but Warne only sees it as a positive.

The boss told the Star: “Him getting the call up has given him a massive self-confidence boost, he is playing with better players, no disrespect to mine, but there are some great players, it's not like he is playing for Guernsey, he is playing for a proper national team.

“I think it has added to him, not taken away.

“I know everyone is driven by money, but I don't think Semi is that impressed by somebody's car so I don't think that will affect him.

“But I do think he wants to get as high as he can and if he didn't he wouldn't be the player I wanted here, everyone who we have here are all on a journey where hopefully they all go on to better clubs and if they do it means me and the coach have done a great service.”

Warne has put together a young and hungry squad at the AESSEAL New York Stadium and knows that the Millers could be a stepping stone for a lot of his players.

“If Semi has an amazing season and someone comes in and offers money for him, if he has had an amazing season it means the team has done well,” Warne said.

“If we lose players through their excellence then that has to be a better way of looking at it than if they don't do very well and no one ever leaves.

“You can't run a football club like that. If Semi goes on and gets a move, then as long as the fee is what the club wants and he wants to do it then I will be over the moon for him.

“I would have the unenviable task of replacing him which wouldn't be easy but that is the same at every club.”