Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has challenged his latest addition Georgie Kelly to be as big a part of Rotherham United's future as new strike partner Michael Smith was after his arrival from Bury in the January window of 2018.
The forward has signed for the Millers on a three-and-a-half year deal following the expiry of his contract at Irish Premier Division side Bohemian FC, after scoring 26 goals in the League of Ireland last term and Warne is hoping he can take a similar development path to the one the club’s current top scorer has been on.
“Hopefully, we can help him like we helped Smudge. We think he could be one we have as a target-man going forward. He’s that type, who wants to get his head on crosses, he’s a willing worker and a bit of a gladiator,” Warne told www.themillers.co.uk.
“He’s a player we’ve watched since the summer, he had a good season in Ireland and he’s a bit of a warrior.
“I love a player with a backstory, whether that be someone from non-league or with a point to prove and for me he fits that bill.
“We could always do with more goals and I think that potentially, Georgie could do it. He’s scored goals at a level, but this is with another step-up for him.
“He’s done really well in his fitness tests, but he’ll need a few weeks to get back up to speed in terms of match sharpness.
“I think we can improve him, there are still things we thing he can do to get a better as a player and hopefully he can be a big part of our team in the future.”
Kelly hasn’t played competitively since November and arrives at AESSEAL New York Stadium in the thick of the Millers’ promotion push.
Warne though, is not putting any pressure on his new addition to hit the ground running straight away.
“I’m well aware of the fact that he’s been signed for now, but he hasn’t trained for a few weeks, there isn’t pressure on him to go into the team immediately.
“I’m hopeful we can get some game time into him, quite obviously, but I’m also aware that he’s signing a three and a half year deal and it can take players time to adapt.
“We’ve got a responsibility of care for the player, we want to develop him and I think we’ve done really well in that regard with strikers.
“Hopefully we can get the best out of him.”