Rotherham’s search for Kieffer Moore’s replacement will now have to go into overdrive after Mick McCarthy confirmed the striker will return to Ipswich in January.
Moore did not look to have much of a future at Portman Road when he was sent to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on a season-long loan but 13 goals in 17 League One games has changed that.
McCarthy says the Championship club will trigger the recall option and put Moore in their team, unless a “bonkers” bid comes in.
“He’ll be coming back, that’s my view,” McCarthy said in his pre-match press call on Thursday.
“We’ll see if he can score as many in the Championship. Unless of course someone comes in and offers a bonkers deal for him, I don’t know.
“He might have 20-plus goals before Christmas and that would be something else.
It's not a proper Saturday until Kieffer Moore scores.
— bet365 (@bet365) November 11, 2017
“He’s doing great. That’s exactly the reason why, one; I signed him and, two; why I sent him out on loan to go and get his football. He wouldn’t have started here with Joe (Garner), Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) and Didzy (David McGoldrick).
“So it looks like a good bit of management to me.
“Just let him keep playing well and scoring goals. We’ll deal with it when the time comes.”
Millers boss Paul Warne has said that he is already looking at potential replacements and the importance of that has now increased after the latest developments.
Warne also plans to address his leaky defence by signing two new defenders in January.
The Millers’ back line has been their Achilles heel this season as individual errors have seen them ship too many goals.
Warne has yet to settle on a back five, including regularly swapping his goalkeeper, and if he gets his way he will have at least two new faces to choose from in 2018.
“We need at least one defender, possibly two, and we definitely need to strengthen up the top of the pitch as well,” Warne said.
“Every team will try to improve in January so we have to. Another two windows – January and next summer – and then you’ve got in virtually all the players you want and those who haven’t achieved for you will have naturally eroded away.
“We have to make sure we get the recruitment right. It’s all about the personality. It’s a tight group.
“The staff and players are really close. You have to get good players in but they have to fit. If they don’t fit, what we’ve built could just crumble.”