Rotherham boss Paul Warne has hinted that some of his contracted players could face the axe in the summer – if any of them can find new clubs that is.
Given how bad the campaign has gone for the Millers, few of the current squad could have any complaints if Warne wanted to bin them.
But some are in more danger than others, so here’s a look at those who might be particularly vulnerable.
Warne’s number one wish is surely to get Blackstock off his wage bill and he would have no opposition from the fans. Blackstock is the poster boy of an utterly horrendous campaign, having signed in September for a reported £10,000 per week and delivering absolutely nothing. His clear lack of effort on the pitch has made him a hate figure in the fanbase and his style of play does not fit in with how Warne wants to set up. He’s on a cushy number at New York, even with a wage drop, so getting him to agree to a pay-up might take some negotiation.
The right-back has endured a difficult time since his move from Celtic in his first taste of Championship football. There is something not quite right about his body language and attitude on the pitch and he has often been exposed on the right – despite having all the physical attributes of the modern-day full-back. With Will Vaulks showcasing his ability to perform in the right-back role, Warne might look to move Fisher, whose relaxed approach to defending is shown below, on.
On paper Newell ought to be one of the potential stars that Warne could build a team around in League One, but he has only really produced in flashes this season. For every moment of brilliance – his goal of the season against QPR and his domineering display against Wigan – there have been more instances where he has been totally ineffective. Two goals and two assists don’t really stack up for a player of his ability and he has found himself in and out of the team recently. But still just 24, it would be a surprise if the midfielder did not get his chance to prove his worth next year.
The Tunisian defender offered promise when he first came into the team this season, but the more he has played the more unstable he has been. While he has pace and an ability on the ball, he has never seemed totally convincing and there’s often been a feeling that an error is just around the corner. League One may be more forgiving for Belaid, who might be suited better to a back three, but being part of a defence that is set to concede 100 goals is hardly going to have the suitors banging the door down.
The club’s former record buy, who is just coming back from injury, definitely has his fate undecided, with Warne saying last week that he is undecided on whether to trigger the year’s option on his deal. Much will depend on his application and his desire to make the best of his talent and with only three weeks of the season left, time is running out. His cameo performance against Birmingham on Good Friday will help his cause and more performances like that will leave Warne with a decision to make.