Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk after securing the signature of Matt Crooks...
MILLERS boss Paul Warne was quick to express his delight at acquiring the services of Northampton Town’s Matt Crooks, after the highly-rated midfielder put pen-to-paper at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on a three-and-a-half year deal.
In the club’s first signing of the January transfer window, the 24-year-old decided to swap League Two for a taste of Championship football – with both clubs agreeing an undisclosed fee, yesterday.
Speaking exclusively to www.themillers.co.uk following the signing, Warne believes that the former Rangers midfielder will be a valuable asset to his squad as they look to safeguard their Championship status, in the second half of the season.
“I’ve been trying to sign him since the start of the window but couldn’t make it happen,” Warne revealed.
“He’s ideal for us. He is box-to-box. He’s a good size and he can play with the ball in tight areas while he will be a goal threat for us.”
Crooks has been one of the mainstays of the Cobblers side, this term, and he has popped up with six goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick at Macclesfield Town, in late October. Warne admitted that Crooks had been on the Millers radar, since the early part of the season and he and his coaching staff, along with Head of Recruitment Jamie Johnson, were all in attendance at the Sixfields Stadium in midweek during Northampton’s narrow EFL Football League Trophy loss to Bristol Rovers – where Crooks managed to get on the scoresheet, during another impressive display- according to the Millers chief.
“Me, Hammy and Rich watched him along with Jamie on Tuesday and he played really well. He was the best player on the pitch,” Warne added.
“We have always liked him. I’ve spoken to him and we told him how hard we push people and how hard we work people. We told him if you want to be the best you can be, then this is the ideal place to come. There were a couple of clubs after him but the challenge to play in the Championship at our club is a great one for him and for us.
“Northampton were really good on the deal. They weren’t messing around. It was just a few phone calls and we got it over the line, so it was a good deal for us.”
The 6ft 4in midfielder will undoubtedly bolster Warne’s options in the middle of the park and the Millers supremo is confident that the West Yorkshire born midfielder will settle into his new surroundings with a minimum of fuss.
“He’s at a good age. We try and recruit players, who will be part of the team for the next two to three years.” Warne added.
“He’s a Huddersfield lad so he gets the area. It’s a good move for him as we will try and get everything out of him. He’ll be a good addition to the team and it will be another option for us in the middle of the park.”