Rotherham United 2019-20 League One Preview

Rotherham United failed to build on their 2017-18 playoff promotion and joined Bolton Wanderers, Ipswich Town to play in a very competitive 2019-20 League One campaign.

Their 2018-19 season started inconsistently with three wins and four losses in the first seven games, but in the next 18 games, they only managed one win which meant they went into the January transfer window with 22 points from 25 games sitting 22nd.

This led to a very important window in January but they managed to bring in Matt Crooks despite showing determination to land a new striker.

Many fans feel their inability to bring in new players was due to the unavailability of funds to compete against other Championship clubs to sign the same players.

Rotherham United Finances

Since we don’t have financial data for the 2018-19 season, the season we would like to use the 2016-17 Championship season as a reference and build on from there.

In 2018-19 Season, Rotherham United had an average home attendance of 9,880 which is slightly higher compared to 9,783 in the 2016-17 season. In both the seasons, they exited FA Cup in the first round but managed to reach the second round compared to the first-round exit in the 2016-17 season.

With no player being sold in the summer of the 2018-19 season just like the 2016-17 season. It is safe to say they had a turnover of £13m now compare that to £13.2m spent by Nottingham Forest who played their 11th consecutive season in Championship last season to sign Joao Carvalho.

So, that was the kind of market Rotherham United were competing in last season but they decided to cash in on their biggest assets this summer so funds might have increased this League One campaign. The big names to leave this summer were-

Will Vaulks £2.1m + addonsCardiff
Semi Ajayi £1.5m West Bromwich Albion

Unlike Championship, League One is not filled with clubs that have financial superiority over Rotherham United so with additional funds available this season they can build a squad that can realistically gain promotion from League One at the first time of asking and one that supporters can be proud for years to come.

It is safe to say that this transfer window is going to be one of the most important in determining the direction the club is going to move in. Before analyzing players that were brought in, let’s focus on departed players and their manager.

Rotherham United 2019-20 Player Departures

They have released 5 players this season and they are as follows

  • David Ball
  • Dominic Ball,
  • Darren Potter,
  • Alex Bray and
  • Emmanuel Onariase

While the following players announced their departure even after being offered a contract.

  • Jon Taylor
  • Anthony Forde
  • Joe Newell
  • Ryan Williams
  • Tyrone Lewthwaite
  • Reece McGinley

Players that were sold to other clubs were

  • Ben Purrington
  • Will Vaulks
  • Semi Ajayi

So in total 14 players left the club so far this summer. They have lost four wide players in summer; Their seven-goal 7 assist midfielder and captain in Will Vaulks, and Their seven-goal Center Back in Semi Ajayi are the names that pop out of the list.

Other big names to pop out of the list are Jon Taylor and Joe Newell who were both fan favorites last season.

Rotherham United Manager

In the cut-throat world of present-day football when your club is sitting in and around the 20th position or below for the most part of the season you would expect the manager to get a sack but the board is very understanding of their financial situation and like Paul Warne as a member of their staff so he managed to remain in his position for the entire last season..

Paul Warne is known for his Kloppish charm and his ability to make players and staff feel like they are a family. He had a very tough job last season and had been vocal about the money that was being spent in Championship.

Warne started his coaching career as soon as he retired as a player in 2012. He started as a part of Rotherham United coaching set up. During his backroom staff days, he worked with 8 different managers at the club.

After 4 years as a coach, he was given the opportunity as an interim coach at the end of the 2016-17 season after it was confirmed that the club was relegated into League One following three consecutive seasons in Championship.

He guided them back to the championship via playoffs at the first time of asking. Being a former player, coming through the coaching ranks at the club, Guiding them back to championship in 2017-18 makes his position stronger and a fan favorite among some sections of the fans.

Paul Warne prefers to use 4-1-4-1 but might switch to 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3 based on the opposition tactics.

Rotherham United 2019-20 New Signings

They have made following signings so far this season.

Shaun MacDonald

Shaun MacDonald is a 31-year-old Welsh international midfielder who predominantly plays as CM but can also play at DM, AM, LM.

He is a product of the Swansea City academy and went onto make 29 appearances for their senior squad. MacDonald has accumulated an experience of playing 239 club games including 3 Premier League appearances, he also has 4 Welsh International caps to his name.

Shaun was on the books of Wigan Athletic for the last three seasons. He made 41 appearances for them in the 2016-17 Championship season but suffered a double leg fracture on the final matchday.

This injury led to him missing the whole 2017-18 season. He started training at the start of the 2018-19 season but suffered freak knee injury which kept him out for large part of the campaign. Even when he recovered he was asked to play for the U-23 squad.

In the last two seasons, he only managed to make One EFL cup appearance and One FA cup appearance for wigan with both coming in the 2018-19 season.

He is a 6 feet tall midfielder who covers a lot of ground during the match and tries to win every single ball by putting pressure on the opposition, some times he goes into challenges which could lead to injuries.

Freddie Ladapo

Freddie Ladapo is a 26-year-old striker who can also play as Left Winger. He is a product of Southend United, Colchester United academies but he had to take the Non-league route to get back into Football League and Premier League following his release by Colchester United.

Following a breakthrough season with Isthmian League side Margate FC where he scored 25 goals from 53 appearances, he was scouted by Crystal Palace and was subsequently signed.

He only managed to make One EFL Cup, One Premier League appearance for Crystal Palace but managed to gain Football League experience by going on loan to Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town, and permanently to Southend United.

After he was released by Southend United, he joined Plymouth Argyle and had an amazing personal season. His stats for last season are listed below.

League games played45
Minutes played3709 
Minutes per goal206 
Shots on target % 54

From the above stats, you can see that Ladapo was lethal in front of the goal. He was the 6th highest goal scorer last season in League One. He joined Rotherham United on a club-record fee.

He is a 6 feet tall center forward who has a decent pace and can take on defenders head-on with his dribbling skills.

Julien Lamy 

Julien Lamy is a 19-year-old Left Winger who came through youth ranks at Stade Brestois 29(Brest) Academy and spent the last two seasons at French fifth-tier side Stade Plabennecois(Plabennec).

He joined Rotherham United after a successful Trail last season. Lamy is an exciting player to watch and his dribbling skills will mesmerize and entertain fans.

He is initially going to join Rotherham United Academy side and hopefully can transform into a finished player who is ready to compete at League One level.

Matthew Olosunde

Matthew Olosunde is one of the USMNT Rising Stars who is a product of New York Red Bulls, Manchester United Academies.

He is currently 21 -years-old and predominantly plays as a Left-Back but can also play at LB, CB, DM positions.

Olosunde has made 33 youth appearances for United, was also capped once by USMNT and has made 34 Youth appearances for the United States.

He is a creative full-back who is known for his work rate and ability to pick passes and crosses.

Carlton Morris

Carlton Morris is a 23-year-old center forward who has been on the books of Norwich City since 2006. He only made one championship appearance for Norwich City.

However, he has been on loans to Oxford United, York City, Hamilton Academical, Shrewsbury Town and Rotherham United(2017) and gained valuable first-team experience. He also made two appearances scoring twice for England U-20 squad.

He had played two full-season previously, The first full season was with SPL side Hamilton Academical in 2015-16 where he scored 8 and set up 2 more in 32 SPL appearances, The second one was his 2017-18 loan move to Shrewsbury Town where he scored 10, set up 6 more in 53 appearances across all competitions and was an integral part of their EFL Trophy, Playoff final reaching squad.

In the Playoff final, however, he tore his ACL which led to him missing most of the 2018-19 and even when he recovered he only managed to make 3 U-23 appearances.

Morris often plays as a Target man and uses his first touch and strength to bring other players into the game with his hold up play. His 6 ft 2 frame, speed sometimes makes him unplayable as he likes to take headers into his path and quickly accelerates.

Daniel Barlaser

Daniel Barlaser is a 22-year-old Gateshead born player who has represented both England and Turkey at youth level making 15 appearances for Turkey and twice for England.

He has been at Newcastle United since 2006 and managed to make 2 FA cup appearances, 1 EFL Cup appearance for the senior squad.

While still at Newcastle United, he has made loan moves to Crewe Alexandra and Accrington Stanley. Crewe Alex was forgettable but move to Accrington Stanley offered him a full season League One experience.

Last season he made 45 appearances in all competitions for Accrington Stanley scoring 3 and setting up 2 more.

He is a midfield player who predominantly plays as CM but is known for his versatility and can play at DM, LM, RM, and AM.

Barlaser is praised for his composure with the ball, passing, dribbling ability and he is one of the best options to take corners as he doesn’t have a good Ariel leap but good delivery even after being 6 feet tall.

Rotherham United 2019-20 Away Journey

The longest trip The Millers have to make this season is to play Portsmouth FC at the Fratton Park while the shortest trip will be to play Doncaster Rovers at Keepmoat Stadium. More numbers about their journeys are listed below in miles.

Total Distance2600
Average distance per game113
Longest Trip221
Shortest Trip15

Rotherham United 2019-20 Odds

Rotherham United are fifth favorites to get promoted this season after Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth, Peterborough United according to many bookmakers


Rotherham United 2019-20 Fixtures

To read more club previews click here or visit 72 in 72 section from the menu.