Rotherham United were delivered a hammer-blow earlier today when striker Freddie Ladapo handed in a transfer request to the Millers hierarchy.
The 28-year-old, who signed for the Yorkshire side from Plymouth Argyle in the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee, has 12 goals to his name this season for the League One table-toppers.
However his contract expires at the end of the season – although the club have a one-year extension in his contract which could be triggered – and Ladapo has now taken the chance to make a stance regarding his future.
Quiz: Can you name which club Rotherham United signed these 20 strikers from?
Whilst manager Paul Warne has stated that Ladapo may not even leave the New York Stadium this month unless a suitable offer comes in for him, let’s look at three potential replacements for the former Crystal Palace man should he depart.
The obvious starting point is to look at League Two as the gap between the fourth and third tiers of English football is not that big.
One player stands out from the rest right now and that is Newport County striker Telford, who is simply in red-hot form this season.
The 25-year-old has 16 goals in 15 League Two matches to his name which is quite frankly a remarkable record, with 14 of those coming in Telford’s last 10 appearances.
Born in Burnley, you’d imagine that Telford might relish returning to the north of England should Rotherham come in for him and with the striker out of contract at the end of the season, it might not be that difficult to secure a deal.
There are sometimes some real gems to be found in non-league and right now the current top scorer of the National League is banging goals in for fun at Chesterfield.
That player is Tshimanga, who only arrived at the Spireites from Boreham Wood in the summer just gone after scoring 39 league goals in 78 appearances for the Hertfordshire side.
The former MK Dons man has continued his wonderful form this season under James Rowe, netting 18 goals so far in 20 league outings and that’s likely going to lead to interest in the 24-year-old.
He has the kind of progressive profile that could see him do well in League One and he’d get more than enough service in this current Rotherham team – however Chesterfield would likely not sell for cheap and it may take in excess of £500,000 to prize him away.
The under-23’s Premier League is potentially a good source of finding a striker, and we’ve seen a League One club already pick up a prolific forward from that sphere this month already as Gillingham have loaned in Norwich City’s Thomas Dickson-Peters.
He has 10 goals in 14 appearances to his name and someone else with an impressive record in Premier League 2 is Chukwuemeka.
The 19-year-old Aston Villa striker signed for the Midlands club in the summer from Northampton Town, and he already has EFL experience with 22 league appearances at the Cobblers to his name.
Chukwuemeka’s tally for Villa’s under-23’s stands at seven goals in eight outings and he could provide a physical yet quick presence to play next to Michael Smith for the rest of the season.