Semi Ajayi talks to www.themillers.co.uk...Defender Semi Ajayi insists he was delighted to seal a permanent switch to Rotherham United and repay the faith shown in him by the club, having initially arrived at AESSEAL New York Stadium on loan from Cardiff City.
The 23-year-old finalised his move from South Wales to South Yorkshire on Tuesday afternoon and expressed his delight at putting pen-to-paper on a deal which will ensure his long-term future in Rotherham.
“It's really good and I'm happy to finally get the deal sorted,” Ajayi told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I wanted to repay the club for the faith that they have shown in me, so it was great to be offered the chance to make it a permanent switch and hopefully I can help the club push on.”
Ajayi has been a virtual ever-present in the Millers’ rearguard since his arrival on an international loan in January, turning in a number of eye-catching performances, the most notable of which came in the narrow defeat to Premier League hopefuls Brighton and Hove Albion.
Whilst the former Charlton Atheltic and Arsenal man admits the club’s league position has been disappointing, the opportunity to further his football education with minutes on the pitch was a big draw on him agreeing a permanent stay.
“That was a massive reason as well for me to sign. Rotherham have given me that regular football which at my age, I feel like I need,” Ajayi continued.
“Obviously the season hasn't gone well for the club, but when I look at the bigger picture I've enjoyed my time here and I'm pretty sure next year will be a whole lot different.
“If we go down we'll be looking to challenge at the top and bounce straight back, so I was more than happy to join with that in mind.”
The Crayford-born centre back added that he will benefit from his familiarity with the AESSEAL New York Stadium and the players and staff around the club as he looks to hit the ground running next term.
“That has helped a lot as well and has made the switch really easy,” Ajayi explained.
“I'm already here and I am already familiar with the lads and the staff and I have a place up here as well which means that next season I can make the transition seamlessly.
“They've all been really good with me. They're always encouraging me and telling me what I'm doing well and what I'm not doing so well. It's a really good environment for me to learn and improve as a player.”
The Millers could have their relegation confirmed this weekend as they host Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship, but Ajayi is not phased by the challenges next season may pose and admits he is keen to play a part in a more successful season.
“That is 100% the aim. I want to play as many games as I can and contribute to the team bouncing straight back up."