Rotherham United boss, Paul Warne, has been discussing the possibility of Leicester City or Chelsea recalling either George Hirst or Jamal Blackman from their loan spells in South Yorkshire.
Hirst, 21, has been involved in 14 Championship games this season, but has failed to register a goal or an assist and has played only 387 minutes of football in the league.
In terms of Blackman, the 27-year-old has made 18 appearances across all competitions and, like Hirst, was involved in the FA Cup defeat to Everton on Saturday. However, he is now competing with Viktor Johansson for the gloves and Warne’s backing as first choice goalkeeper.
As with all loans, there is a risk of Hirst or Blackman being recalled by Leicester or Chelsea, either to move elsewhere in search of more regular football, or to provide depth in some depleted Premier League squads.
That’s been a topic of discussion for Warne in the past week, with the Rotherham boss delivering his verdict on any potential recalls.
He told the Sheffield Star: “They might do, I don’t think they will.
“In January you have to move people out to get people in and fundamentally our league position we are not doing as well as we want so everyone is up for movement.
“At this moment in time they are our players, we are going to use them, we are going to try and help them and get them as good as we can.
“That is as it stands now, in two weeks that might change one of those two might come in and tells me they are not happy with their game time and they’re done.
“If that is the case then that’s a conversation to be had but at the moment they are very much part of our plans and I don’t see that changing.”
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Rotherham have slipped to 23rd in the Championship table over recent weeks, with Warne’s side three points adrift of safety. However, a disrupted schedule has left them playing just 20 times this season, with the Millers holding three games in hand on some rivals.
Warne is probably looking at this the only way he can. He has to be positive and look to make the right noises, but the decision will always be, ultimately, out of his hands.
Hirst and Blackman have had their chances this season and Warne will be keen to retain them.
However, if Leicester or Chelsea see their player being underused, they are within their rights to make a decision on that loan spell.
It’s the way of the modern game and Warne accepts that. He won’t start playing players to please their parent club whilst Rotherham are battling for survival in the Championship, even if he wants to retain them.
Thoughts? Let us know!