Paul Warne talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United boss Paul Warne says it is with a heavy heart that he allowed defender Semi Ajayi to depart AESSEAL New York Stadium, but explains that West Brom’s final offer meant that the deal was right for all parties.
Warne has been influential in nurturing the former Arsenal and Charlton Athletic man’s talents after he joined the club from Cardiff City and witnessed Ajayi help himself to eight goals last season, in a more advanced role in midfield.
Following confirmation of Ajayi’s move to the Baggies, Warne expressed his feelings to www.themillers.co.uk:
“He goes, from my point of view, with a heavy heart because I lose a great player and a good person, but I can understand the pull of the Championship and West Brom.
“He was in the last year of his contract, so it was understandable and good business from the club to allow him to move on.
“There has been offers coming in for him in the summer from a few Championship clubs and we wanted to make sure we did the best we could for the club.
“The player was understandably attracted by the offer and it was fair business all around really, the club wanted to take the offer and we have.
“He came in as a very shy lad and was very raw. He did have the attributes I like, in that, he was athletic and he wanted to learn.
“He was pivotal in our promotion season and then he did really well to be pushed into midfield and score eight goals last year. He was one of the unfortunate players to be involved in a relegation season, which was through no fault of his own.
“He can play in a lot of positions and it is a massive blow for all of us at the football club that he has moved on but unless you're the richest club in the country, your best players are always in danger of being picked off.
“The good thing is with him and Will [Vaulks] is that the players that are here and the players we are trying to sign can see what can happen if they progress and play at this great club, then they've got a chance to move on after a few good seasons and forge out an even better career but also in the meantime helping us.
“He's a really great guy and an educated kid and I have no doubt that he'll be a great addition to West Brom. Our job now is to find players who can develop and do the same thing that Semi has done for us over the last few years.”