Rotherham United manager Paul Warne insists new loan signing Jamal Blackman has always been high up on his list of potential goalkeeping targets, following his arrival on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.
The 26-year-old has already enjoyed a spell on this patch before, having spent a season on loan at the Millers’ South Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield United during the 2017/18 campaign.
His familiarity with the area, as well as his desire to get stuck in during his time at AESSEAL New York Stadium is something which adhered him to his new manager.
“I’m buzzing, it’s been a very long process, obviously when you go for the Premier League lads you have to wait for them to come back and everything else,” Warne told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Jamal has always been high up on our list so it’s good news, we’re really pleased with how Chelsea helped us get the deal over the line and I’m looking forward to watching him.
“I’ve done loads of research on him, he’s used to the area and he knows this is a hotpot of football, so generally he gets the area. He’s looking forward to starting like they all are, we’re getting to the point now where it’s less than two weeks until the first competitive game and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Blackman has become the latest addition to the Rotherham United coaching staff’s impressive looking conveyer belt of goalkeepers loaned from Premier League clubs who’ve gone on to flourish under their tutorship.
The Millers had Daniel Iversen on loan from Leicester City last term and had Fulham star Marek Rodak for the previous two campaigns. Rodak was a key figure in ensuring the Cottagers made an instant return to the Premier League during 2019/20, while Iversen’s fine form for the Millers in the same campaign earned him a loan switch to the Belgian top-flight.
And Warne insists that Blackman fits the ball of the calibre of goalkeepers he wants to bring in to the football club.
“I like my ‘keeper to be big and brave and he’s definitely that. It shows what sort of goalie I want, the goalkeepers I really like have already been snapped up by Premier League clubs. Marek (Rodak) was unbelievable for us for two years and the same with Dan Iversen, if I could have kept him for two years I would have, but it wasn’t the case.
“We encourage our ‘keepers to come for things, to come and be brave. If he comes for something and drops it that’s not his fault it’s mine because I push them to come for stuff so hopefully he’ll be good competition.”