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READ | Hakeeb hoping to hit the ground running

9 January 2020

Having put pen to paper on a loan deal that will see him represent the Millers until the end of the 2019/20 campaign, Hakeeb Adelakun is determined to make a mark in Sky Bet League One between now and May.

The 23-year-old joined from Bristol City on Thursday afternoon, and now with an opportunity to add to Rotherham United’s firepower, he is relishing the challenge of trying to force his way into the starting line-up.

“In no way, shape or form do I think it was going to be easy. I know I have a massive point to prove to myself and to everyone else. I'm just here and ready to start doing that,” Adelakun told www.themillers.co.uk.

“It isn't an easy league at all and for them to be second at the moment, you can tell that things are going right. It isn't a massive change but I'm glad that I've been brought in to help improve the squad a little bit. My hope is to add to the team and that everything just goes hand-in-hand so that we all just push on together.

“I haven't set myself any targets as of yet. Now this is all done, once it has set in, then I can start thinking about it. To start with it is just a case of adding to the team that is doing so well.

“Obviously everything has just been positive and I'm just excited to get going.” 

Despite interest from several other clubs, the Millers beat off competition to acquire the signature of the powerful winger, and Adelakun insists that Paul Warne was a major influence in his decision, along with the fact there are a few familiar faces at Roundwood.

“The gaffer just told me his ideas really. Obviously I've played against his teams a few times and he's seen me, so he just told me that he'd provide me with a platform to play and work with him to help the team push on,” he enthused.

“Crooksy has been messaging me a bit as well to be honest, as has Freddie. Knowing familiar faces at a club that you could go to always makes it a bit easier because it helps with fitting in and getting comfortable. Hopefully, that then brings out the performances on the pitch.

“I just like to get on the ball and make stuff happen. I like to be as creative as I can be and I just want to help the team to get better.”

After representing Crystal Palace and West Ham United at youth level, Adelakun has gone on to be become an established figure in the Football League, racking up 174 first-team appearances for Scunthorpe United and Bristol City despite his tender age.

During his time with the Iron, he helped the club reach the Sky Bet League One Play-offs where they eventually met Rotherham United in the 2017/18 season, but it wouldn’t be a day to remember for him and his Scunthorpe teammates lost out to a Millers side that went on to win promotion.

Although disappointed with the result back then, Adelakun has fond memories of visiting the AESSEAL New York Stadium and he is delighted to be faced with the prospect of playing in South Yorkshire on a regular basis.

“It's a great training ground they have here and a great stadium. It's amazing and I remember playing there in the Play-offs a couple of years ago for Scunthorpe - it was rocking,” he enthused.

“Really there was just a buzz [about signing] and I'm familiar with the area, and it was kind of a second home for me away from London so I couldn't wait to get back to the area."

The Millers’ latest recruit will wear the number 14 shirt, and he is in contention to feature against Oxford United this weekend.

 


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