Which areas of the pitch does Paul Warne need to strengthen this summer?

Rotherham are back in the Championship and no one needs reminding just how difficult life is in that division.

The Millers will enter the new campaign with some momentum and a feelgood factor, but boss Paul Warne undoubtedly has summer of important recruitment ahead if his side are to make a better fist of things this time around.

 

Here’s a look at the positions in which he will think about having to strengthen ahead of the new campaign.

Goalkeeper

Given rookie Laurence Bilboe is the only goalkeeper on the books currently, this is an obvious one. Warne would like to get Marek Rodak back on loan, which could happen following Fulham’s promotion, but he will need at least one other senior pro following the release of Lewis Price. It will be two if Rodak does not come and goalkeeping coach Mike Pollitt will already be at work on this one.

Right-back

With Josh Emmanuel back at Ipswich and Shaun Cummings released the Millers are also currently without a recognised right-back. Emmanuel seems unlikely to return on loan so Warne will be targeting at least one fresh face. Will Vaulks and Michael Ihiekwe can play there but it is an area to strengthen.

 

Centre-back

Defence was an issue for much of last season so it would be strange to think Warne will not want to bolster his options. Richard Wood has earned hero status but doubts remain over him at Championship level, Semi Ajayi has been very good but with the chance of a brain-freeze, while Ihiekwe is also error-prone. Vaulks is a reluctant option there, as is Joe Mattock, but a big, solid, reliable centre-half or two would do nicely.

Central midfield

If Warne can get Richie Towell back then he looks quite strong in that department, with Vaulks and Matty Palmer at his disposal. Ajayi can also play in a sitting role if necessary. So he will be looking for at least one, Towell, to bring in and might fancy two.

 

Striker

With Michael Smith, a fit-again Jamie Proctor and David Ball in the ranks already the Millers have the basis of a solid striking pool. But this is the Championship and they will need something extra if they are going to prevail, so the boss could target at least two strikers. Warne will be given money to spend but given the competition he will be up against he might have to unearth a gem.

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