Rotherham United have lodged a £300,000 bid for Leyton Orient’s exciting young defender Marvin Ekpiteta, as reported by HITC.
They’re still hunting a replacement for Semi Ajayi, the Nigerian central defender who made a move to West Brom earlier in the summer. They’ve identified the National League winner as the perfect replacement and are hoping to secure a deal ahead of the transfer window closing.
He’s been dubbed the ‘Van Dijk of non league‘ and has previously played for East Thurrock, Concord Rangers and Chelmsford.
The 23-year-old appeared 40 times as the O’s ended a two-year stay outside the Football League last season, but as he enters the final year of his contract there is bound to be significant interest.
That doesn’t mean Orient are keen to sell; it’s reported they’re hoping to hang on to their asset ahead of their first season back in League Two.
Rotherham are facing life in League One after suffering relegation last season, the third time in as many years they’ve switched divisions.
They’ve made nine signings thus far this summer, with striker Freddie Ladapo arguably the marquee signing of pre-season.
Ekpiteta is hot property right now; he’s young and agile, powerful and committed and those are just the sort of attributes that fit nicely with Rotherham.
He’s a custom-made replacement for Ajayi and can have the same impact at the New York Stadium as Curtis Tilt had at Blackpool.
There are similarities between the two; both have served their time in the non league scene and both can do a job at a higher level.
It’s a generous offer as well; that sort of money could help Orient strengthen this summer. It’s been hard for them having suffered the tragic loss of Justin Edinburgh and yet life goes on. The season won’t wait whilst they grieve and that means making big decisions like this.