Here are my ratings for Rotherham United’s summer signings at around the halfway point of the 2020/21 Championship season…
Jamal Blackman – 6.5
With Daniel Iversen returning to Leicester City in the summer, Rotherham were on the hunt for a new number one ‘keeper. After being linked with Man City’s Arijanet Muric, the Millers secured Blackman’s services until the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has received a lot of criticism from some supporters this term. He has made some mistakes along the way and he did appear set to lose the number one spot.
But after playing well in the FA Cup against Everton, Blackman’s improved form has continued and he appears to be growing in confidence.
Hopefully, this carries on and he keeps on commanding his area and making vital saves during the Championship run-in. If not, his backup is more than capable of stepping in for him…
Viktor Johansson – 6.5
Rotherham United’s resident Swede signed up this summer on a free after his contract with Leicester expired. He has spent most of this season on the bench, but he made his debut against Preston in November.
Johansson played with a lot of confidence and he was lauded by supporters especially because of how vocal he was. The 22-year-old put in a man of the match worthy display as the Millers ran out 2-1 winners against Alex Neil’s side.
The former Aston Villa shot-stopper started three consecutive Championship games in December but he has since lost his place back to Blackman. He has not put a foot wrong so far and he appears primed to take the number one jersey next season should Rotherham not sign Blackman permanently.
Every season inevitably see's a few youth players released. However particularly gutted to hear that Viktor, one of our own, Johansson, has not been given a new deal. Top keeper in the making. Will find a new club no sweat. #AVFC pic.twitter.com/gBi4Upv3tQ
— AVFC U23 (@AVFCU23) June 13, 2018
Wes Harding – 8.5
Harding joined the Millers on an undisclosed fee from Birmingham City. The full-back came with mixed reports from Blues fans, so the Rotherham faithful did not know what to expect from him.
But the 24-year-old has been a superb signing. In the past few weeks, his performances have dipped slightly, but he still stands as a prime contender for the Player of the Year award come May.
Whether he plays on either flank or in the middle of the defence, Harding has proved himself to be a very strong and reliable defender. It was really astute business from Paul Warne and co to bring him in and at his age, he can get even better in the next few years.
Angus Macdonald – 6.5
Along with Harding, Macdonald was one of Rotherham’s best performers in the early weeks of the season. Admittedly, he has made a few mistakes this term which have led to goals.
But on the whole, he has been steady for the Millers. In the past few weeks, he has played an important role as a left-sided centre-back alongside Richard Wood and Michael Ihiekwe.
In the coming months, he will have to be at the top of his game to keep his place in the side. Left-footed Clark Robertson has returned to full fitness and at his best, I personally would prefer him in the starting eleven over Macdonald.
Time will tell if the former Hull City man’s showings can keep Robertson out of the side…
Mickel Miller – 6
The winger was Rotherham’s first summer signing as he joined on a free from Scottish side Hamilton. He is the club’s latest acquisition from Scotland after Jamie Lindsay and Will Vaulks had also signed from there in years gone by.
Miller has been a bit-part player this term, but he did perform brilliantly as Rotherham beat Sheff Weds 3-0 in October. The change in system has not played in his favour and he recently joined Northampton Town on loan until the summer.
I have been impressed by him overall, as he is always positive and tries to beat his man. The 25-year-old suffered an injury in his Northampton debut, but hopefully, he gets some more games under his belt and returns to Rotherham a better player ready for next season.
Florian Jozefzoon – 5.5
Like Miller, Rotherham’s change to a 5-3-2 set-up has not aided Jozefzoon. The winger joined the Millers on loan from Derby to cover for the injury Chieo Ogbene.
Given Rotherham’s financial position in this league, Jozefzoon is the best signing the club could have hoped to fill in for Ogbene. There’s no doubting his ability as at times he has caused opponents real problems on the flanks.
Should Rotherham change their system to accommodate their returning players, it would not surprise us if Jozefzoon comes back in and makes an impact, just as he did against Preston…
📽️ | "Now Crooks, all the time in the world… and he makes no mistake whatsoever!" 🌳
A calm finish from Matt Crooks to round off a superb counter-attack from the Millers and earn all three points against Preston North End 🙌#rufc | #ForeverTogetherForeverProud pic.twitter.com/chK9FOt2gj
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) November 8, 2020
Dan Barlaser – 9
Is it just me who still cannot quite believe we managed to sign Barlaser permanently?
After shining last term, everyone associated with Rotherham were desperate for the club to resign the midfielder this season.
Thankfully, everyone got their wish as he put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal in October. Barlaser has had one or two off-brand performances this term, but overall he has continued to thoroughly impress in a Millers shirt.
With how Rotherham play at the moment, he plays such a pivotal role in that midfield three alongside Ben Wiles and Jamie Lindsay.
It is a joy watching him play as he really is a class act on the pitch. Rotherham are extremely fortunate to have him and let’s just hope he sticks with the Millers for quite some time. There’s no doubt in my eyes that in the future he is capable of cutting it in the Premier League.
Kieran Sadlier – 6
Rotherham’s signing of Sadlier from Doncaster Rovers was considered a major coup. Over the past few years, he had been one of the best-performing players in League One. This deal was made even better given that he joined on a free transfer.
The 26-year-old started the season as Warne’s first-choice winger on the left flank. His best moment so far came as he scored a late penalty as Rotherham drew 1-1 with Birmingham at St Andrew’s.
Before Sadlier could hit his stride for the Millers, he suffered an ankle ligament injury in November. Along with Ogbene, he is set to return action very soon. Both could even be in the squad on Tuesday against Middlesbrough.
It’s hard to judge him so far. Going off his performances for Doncaster, he is fully capable of starring for the Millers as a number ten or on the wing once he returns to full match fitness.
George Hirst – 5
The former Sheffield Wednesday youngster’s move to Rotherham has not worked out. When he signed, Warne claimed that he was a player he had been chasing across several transfer windows.
He finally got his man in September as he joined on loan from Leicester City. Hirst has started three times this season, with the majority of his appearances coming off the bench.
Whenever he has played he has failed to make a substantial impact. The closest he has come to scoring was against the Owls. This move to the Championship may have come too soon for him, but I hope he that can prove us wrong before the end of the campaign…