Rotherham United: Danny Collins and Tom Thorpe give Millers that Friday feeling

Danny Collins is welcomes to New York Stadium by Millers No 2 Paul Raynor
Danny Collins is welcomes to New York Stadium by Millers No 2 Paul Raynor

So, Rotherham United fans, prepare for the grizzled veteran who has been there and done it in the Premier League and the former Manchester United starlet who’s like a younger version of one of the club’s most admired players of recent times.

The Millers turned yesterday into frenetic Friday, bringing in two centre-halves within hours of each other.

First Danny Collins, the 34-yeard-old most recently of Nottingham Forest but once of top-flight Sunderland, Stoke City and West Ham, signed in, followed by 22-year-old Tom Thorpe, former captain of the Old Trafford under-21 side.

It was the perfect response by manager Steve Evans after the club sold centre-back/midfield man Kari Arnason to Swedish giants Malmo FF earlier in the week.

Evans said of Collins, freed by Forest after three years at the end of last season: ““He’s big, he’s strong and he’s aggressive and quick. He talks well and he can organise the defence so he will be a very good addition.

“The main thing is that he’s hungry and he likes what we’re trying to do here, so he’ll play a major part.”

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And of Thorpe, with one Manchester United appearance and a host of England honours from the under-16s through to the U-21s under his belt, he added: “Young Tom comes with a fantastic recommendation from some very serious people within football.

“When the likes of Ryan Giggs and Warren Joyce at Manchester United tell you to move quickly to sign this lad, then you know he is a talented individual.

“Tom is a central defender, and is accomplished in a central midfield role.

Tom Thorpe lifts the Premier League Under-21 Final trophy

Tom Thorpe lifts the Premier League Under-21 Final trophy

“I believe our supporters will see a comparison with a very quick 22-year-old Kari Arnason.”

Collins has signed a 12-month deal with an option to extend, while The Star understands that Thorpe, a free agent after his release by the Red Devils, has agreed a two-year contract.

They brought to six the number of summer signings made by the Millers, with the fourth of that bunch, right winger Emmanuel Ledesma, arriving only 24 hours earlier.

Thorpe played six games in the Championship last season during a loan spell with Birmingham City.

Collins, with well over 350 games to his credit, said: “My first aim is to get one of the shirts for the first game of the season. I need to impress the manage and the staff in pre-season.”