Rotherham United hot prospect Ben Wiles could still head out on loan even though the January transfer window has drawn to a close.
The young midfielder is highly rated at AESSEAL New York Stadium but will find first-team chances hard to come by this season as the Millers chase a League One play-off place.
The club are keen for Wiles to build up his experience and are ready to send him to a non-league outfit. That is allowed under Football League rules as he is only 18.
“We tried to get Ben out during the window but nothing suitable materialised,” said manager Paul Warne whose team are looking to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches at home to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow.
“Because of his age, we might be able to get him out to the National League now that the window has shut. We need him to play games because I see him playing a big part at this club in the future. He needs to be playing football.”
Wiles, who has played twice in the Checkatrade Trophy this term, is unlikely to make the matchday squad for the Wimbledon clash but new signings midfielder Matt Palmer and loan striker Caolan Lavery are set to be named in Warne’s 18.
Palmer, signed on a permanent deal from Championship Burton Albion, is a major capture for sixth-placed Rotherham and his presence, along with that of Lavery, has given Warne’s men a lift.
Both men arrived in the final week of the window, while targetman Michael Smith was recruited permanently earlier in the month and has already made his mark, scoring in the 2-0 home win over Bradford City on January 23.
“Matty Palmer came in and Newelly (winger Joe Newell) said: ‘How did we manage to get him?’” said Warne. “He was a bit, like, surprised. Maybe ‘surprised’ is the wrong word. He was pleasantly shocked that we’d signed him.
“The quality of player we have brought in is good. It’s not like we’ve brought in players just to sit on the bench. They’ve come in to compete.
“It’s given the lads who are in the team a bit of a jolt. They’re looking over their shoulder. The new boys are good lads. They’ve fitted in straightaway. And I’ve got rid of the lads who aren’t going to play a part. We’re stronger for the signings.
“New faces are exciting for the fans to see. It’s good to have different people at the training ground. From a coaching point of view, it makes you revisit your trigger points, like our pressing and things like that.
“Because there are new faces in the room, it makes you go through it all again, which re-educates the lads. That’s good for us.”
In-form Wimbledon could be tough opponents. They are unbeaten in their last five league outings and beat Bradford 4-0 away from home last weekend.