Rotherham United’s Championship status is hanging by a thin thread as we go into the final games of the season, but unlike the other teams around them they have more opportunities to pick up points.
The games are going to come thick and fast over the next few weeks as the Millers have two games more than their relegation rivals to play, and there’s every chance that the short turnaround in fixtures will play against them.
But they won’t stop fighting until the end and if they do end up succumbing to relegation, then the club may have to make some interesting squad decisions in the summer.
Some of the squad have proven that they are definitely good enough to be playing Championship football and there’s likely to be summer interest in certain individuals.
Let’s look at two transfer scenarios that Rotherham won’t want to happen at the end of this season.
Offers for Freddie Ladapo
Ladapo has spent much of his career in the non-league but he clearly had something about him which led to Crystal Palace signing him from Margate in 2016.
He eventually found the knack for scoring in League One though with Plymouth Argyle and he continued that form last season with the Millers, but the step up to the Championship is a different level – Ladapo though has proven to be good enough.
Nine goals so far this season will have seen Ladapo get a lot more attention and should Rotherham not survive the drop, then there will be a few Championship clubs no doubt with their eyes on the 28-year-old as a source of goals for the second tier.
Millers fans will be hoping it doesn’t come to that though and that Ladapo remains for either another season at this level or to fire them back there in 2022.
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Interest in Dan Barlaser
Along with Ladapo, several other Rotherham players would be of interest should relegation happen, and one of those would most likely be Barlaser.
A product of the Newcastle United academy, Barlaser penned a permanent deal with the Millers after a successful promotion-winning loan spell, and he’s continued to patrol the midfield, scoring three times and bagging four assists this season.
At 24 years old, Barlaser is at an age where he can still improve and Championship teams will be circling – but the terms of the deal that brought him to South Yorkshire meant that Newcastle have a 50% sell-on clause.
That’s not exactly helpful for Rotherham but if Barlaser wants to play in the second tier next season, they may have to cash in.