Rotherham United: Warne on Wiles and a loan deal for the Millers youngster
Teenage prospect Ben Wiles could be handed his Rotherham United first-team opportunity if a loan move fails to materialise in the January transfer window.
The League One Millers would like the highly-rated midfielder to join another club until the end of the season to gain valuable senior experience.
But manager Warne would still be a happy man if the 18-year-old, who has made two Checkatrade Trophy appearances this term, is part of his squad after deadline day on Wednesday.
“There’s a chance I’ll use Wilesy,” the boss said. “And if he got into the team, with his talent, he’d probably stay in it.
“With Wilesy, it’s a win-win situation. If he goes out and plays, great - he’ll come back in the summer a better player with proper games under his belt. If he stays, there’s a chance he might play a part.”
Rotherham, who are in the top six after a nine-match unbeaten run, have already signed targetman Michael Smith and central midfielder Matt Palmer on permanent deals in the window and want to bring in a loan striker in the next three days.
They are in talks with Sheffield United who have said they will allow Caolan Lavery to make a temporary move.
If a centre-forward does arrive, Jonson Clarke-Harris, who is out of contract in the summer, could return to former club Oldham Athletic.
Another player who may leave AESSEAL New York Stadium is Alex Bray, with Warne ready to listen to loan offers for the pacy winger.
The Millers had high hopes for Bray, aged 22, after signing him on a two-year deal from Swansea City last year, but he has been held back by injuries this season and hasn’t featured in the league.
“Alex has been out for a long period so he would probably benefit from a loan more than Wilesy,” said Warne.
“I think Wilesy is closer to the group than Alex. He’s played a lot of ressie games and has trained with the first team virtually every day this season.”
Warne is open to the idea of a couple of his fringe men departing. However, he won’t force anyone through the exit door.
“I don’t have to get anyone out,” the manager said. “But I’m big on the group ethic. If there is anyone here who doesn’t want to be here, I’ll listen to them.”