Rotherham United forward Freddie Ladapo has handed in a transfer request in the midst of the January transfer window.
The Millers have stormed their way to the top of the League One table in recent months with Ladapo’s partnership up front with Michael Smith proving too hot to handle for many a third tier backline. Rotherham have looked imperious and destined for a top two finish, but if anything could destabilise them ahead of the second half of the campaign, it would be player departures this month.
Paul Warne explained that he is still confident of retaining Ladapo beyond January when he spoke to The Yorkshire Post.
He said: “It came on Sunday morning after we’d gone back to the top of the league. There wasn’t a fall-out with us after the game or anything dramatic like that.
“We’ve accepted the request, but I’m not anticipating him leaving. I’m not trying to be funny here, but I’ve not really heard of a transfer request in the last 20 years. I didn’t know players still did that. I spoke to his agent. There hasn’t been an offer. We’ve never turned down an offer for Freddie in two and a half years.”
The Millers do have a lot of depth in attacking areas and would back themselves to cope with the loss of Ladapo, however the impact it could have on the form of Smith makes this situation a lot more concerning.
Quiz: Can you name which club Rotherham United signed these 20 strikers from?
Rotherham have an option to extend the 28-year-old’s contract by a further year at some point between now and the end of the campaign, given Ladapo’s clear intentions that appears unlikely at least in the short term. With Sunderland and Wigan Athletic the Millers’ closest competitors for the League One title this season, they will be using any weakness of the third tier promotion machines’ as motivation to put the pressure on in the coming weeks.
It does not feel like this is the last we will hear of Ladapo’s situation, the versatile forward performed admirably in the second tier last term, scoring nine in all competitions, and the decision to hand in the request could have come with the intention of sparking Championship interest this month.