Rotherham United: Millers eye long-term stay for loan striker Carlton Morris
Rotherham United are hoping striker Carlton Morris's nine-match loan spell will pave the way for a season-long deal next year.
The centre-forward linked up with the Millers from Norwich City this week and will remain in South Yorkshire for the rest of their Championship campaign.
He goes straight into the squad for Saturday’s clash at QPR and will have his first chance to impress for his new club at Loftus Road.
“If he hits the ground running and does well, of course there’ll be the chance for him to stay next season,” first-team coach Matt Hamshaw told The Star.
“In an ideal world, he’ll score in every game and stay with us, but we all know we don’t live in an ideal world. Hopefully, it works for both parties - he can do well for us and we can do well for him.
“You look at the stadium and facilities, why would he not want to stay?”
Bottom club Rotherham, who could be relegated in West London if they lose and other results go against them, don’t expect to see the best of the 21-year-old attacker until after the forthcoming two-week international break
“I don’t think he’s 90-minute match-fit yet but, come the end of the break, he will be,” Hamshaw, standing in at the pre-match press conference for ill caretaker manager Paul Warne, said. “He’s joined in a couple of sessions this week.
“Fingers crossed, we can get him involved in part of the game on Saturday and he can get a goal Then he can kick on in April after the break.
“We’re definitely hoping he plays some part against QPR. He’s joined in a couple of sessions this week.”
Morris, who signed for the Millers in January but had to delay his arrival because of a hamstring injury, is highly rated by Norwich and signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract at Carrow Road earlier this month.
Centre-half Semi Ajayi is another loan player Rotherham are keen to hang on to next term, and Hamshaw revealed that recent talks over a permananent move with the Cardiff City defender, who is out of contract with the Welsh outfit in the summer, “went well”.
“These things can take time on both sides,” he said. “Semi has done great for us. He is obviously a player we like and want him to stay. It can be difficult with a loan player for this reason ... he comes in, does well, people see that and another Championship club might want him.
“As a player,you want to play as high as you can. But we think this is the right club for him. We have given him an opportunity. He has repaid us. We want the chance to work with him again.”
Millers goalkeeper Lee Camp’s contract expires at the end of June, and Hamshaw said last year’s Player of the Year, who hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury last November, has yet to reveal what his plans are.
“He has not intimated anything at the minute. He is just having his rehab,” the coach said. “His future will be discussed between the manager, chairman and chief executive etcetera.
“We just have to make sure we can get him back fit. That would be his choice as well as the club’s. We will see how that pans out.”
Striker Dexter Blackstock is back in contention for Rotherham on Saturday after a knee issue and right-back Darnell has an outside chance of making the squad following hamstring trouble.
But the match is likely to come too soon for other injury victims goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell, right-back Stephen Kelly and centre-half Richard Wood.