Rotherham United head off on their Scottish tour today with a feeling of ‘Mission Accomplished’.
They swooped for summer signings nine and 10 yesterday to achieve manager Steve Evans’ long-held aim of having their pre-season recruitment virtually sewn up by the time they travel north of the border.
Millers supporters have been delighted by the quality brought in by Evans since the end of last season, and their excitement levels rose further as the club announced their latest additions: the goalkeeper several Premier League clubs have had their eyes on and the teenage centre-half the Rotherham boss believes could go on to play for England.
Dutch stopper Kelle Roos has joined on a season-long loan from Derby County, while his iPro Stadium teammate, 19-year-old Farrend Rawson, a familiar figure to Rotherham followers after a successful loan spell last season, has signed a six-month deal.
There may well still be a signing or two to come before August 8 opening day, but the bulk of the work is now done.
Roos, aged 23 and 6ft 5in tall, is held in high regard at the iPro, where he is believed to have signed a long-term contract, and trained with Liverpool and Everton among other top-flight clubs before committing his future to the Rams.
He played five cup matches for County last season as he understudied Lee Grant in the Championship, and was on an Evan’s wanted list that included the name of only one other keeper - last year’s AESSEAL New York Stadium loan ace, Emi Martinez.
“Since the end of last season, I have made it clear that I would like to strengthen the Millers in the goalkeeping department,” Evans said.
“For me there were only two options, and I am delighted that we have been able to secure one of them.”
“I have watched Kelle on a number of occasions, as has our goalkeeper coach, Andy Dibble. Both of us have on every occasion left the match very impressed.
Rawson is the teenager Evans plucked from Derby’s under-21 set-up on loan last March and pitched straight into the Millers’ second-tier survival battle.
He shone in his four games, and the fight for safety was duly won, even though an administrative error regarding a potential loan extension finished up costing the club a Football League three-point deduction.
Evans, who has targeted a midtable position on better next season, revealed last term he believed the youngster had the potential to one day play for his country.
“I am absolutely delighted to have secured the services of young Faz. In a very short space of time towards the end of last season, he joined us as a boy and left us to go back to Derby County as a man,” he said.
“His performances during his loan spell last season can only be described as outstanding. However, he is still young. It will be my responsibility to harness and develop his talent.”
Roos, who came through the ranks at PSV Eindhoven, had been expected to challenge Grant for the No 1 spot next season, but new Derby boss Paul Clement has signed former England No 1 Scott Carson.
He joined County before the 2014/15 season following a nine-match spell with Conference side Nuneaton.
Meanwhile, the performances of Tom Thorpe coming through the Manchester United ranks marked him out as a star of the future.
But the 22-year-old believes he can still learn from his new Rotherham teammates after joining the club on a two-year deal.
The central defender is part of a Millers squad containing four experienced centre-halves, Danny Collins, Kirk Broadfoot, Richard Wood and Greg Halford.
And the former Old Trafford Under-21s captain, who will face extra competition for a shirt now that Rawson has rejoined the club, said: “It’s great to have that experience around me.
“Any information they can pass on, I’ll be happy to listen to, and hopefully it will help my game.”
“New York is a great stadium. The pitch is impeccable. Obviously there will be a great atmosphere, so I can’t wait to get started.”
The Star understands that the player on trial with the Millers is Dutch winger Jeffrey Sarpong and that Evans won’t make a decision on him until after the tour of Scotland is concluded.
Keeper Scott Loach has ended his association with the Millers by mutual consent and signed for Notts County.