Birmingham City v Huddersfield Town - Why Terriers defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green can now appreciate valuable Rotherham United loan spell

When Huddersfield Town told Rarmani Edmonds-Green he would be spending last season on loan, the centre-back was not entirely thrilled. Now he views his promotion-winning campaign at Rotherham United as a “privilege” crucial to his development.

Edmonds-Green improved so much that with Matty Pearson injured and Will Boyle suspended for the season’s opening day, coach Danny Schofield turned to the 23-year-old rather than throw new signing Yuta Nakayama in at the deep end.

Nothing in his performance against Burnley suggested Edmonds-Green will not keep his place at Birmingham City tonight, even with Boyle free of suspension and illness, and the Japan international having dipped his toe in the water late in the game.

Edmonds-Green had been on loan twice before joining Rotherham - briefly with Bromley, then helping Swindon Town into League One during the second half of 2019-20. After 24 Championship appearances for Huddersfield the following season, he might have thought his time as a loanee was over but with older heads Pearson and Tom Lees brought in with exciting Chelsea youngster Levi Colwill, it was felt best for Edmonds-Green to spend more time elsewhere.

Learnt on the job: Huddersfield Town defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green says his promotion-winning loan spell at Rotherham United taught him a lot.Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA Wire.

“At the time I was disappointed,” he admits. “I spoke to the coaches and they said I needed a full season under my belt. I (later) realised I probably did need those games and when I got them it was a privilege so I’m grateful.”

Loaning a youngster out is one thing, but there is an art to picking the right team.

Rotherham are certainly not clones of Huddersfield, even calling Edmonds-Green by a different name - “Reg” not “Rams”.

The Millers used a tougher, more physical style to fight an unrelenting promotion battle in a tougher, more physical division under manager in Paul Warne - not one to hold players’ hands.

Call up: New Terriers head coach Danny Schofield named Edmonds-Green in his starting line up against Burnley. (Photo by William Early/Getty Images)

“It’s definitely toughened me up mentally and physically,” reflects Edmonds-Green. “It gives me confidence to know I can be as physical as these guys.

“After I got injured it took me a long time to get back in but when I did we had to win every game or get as many points as we possibly could to get promotion.

“The tempo of the Championship and the levels of players is a lot different. You can’t really slip up in the Championship. You’ve got to be bang on it all the time.”

He says he is “buzzing to be playing and learning off the best” in Lees, Pearson and goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, three old-school players signed to give a tough edge to what was then a weak defence. Relishing a battle and understanding the value of communication, they sound a lot like the back three Edmonds-Green slipped into at Rotherham.

Experienced: Rarmani Edmonds-Green learnt a lot from Rotherham's Richard Wood and Michael Ihiekewe last season and hopes to the same this time with Tom Lees (above) and Matty Pearson this time. Picture: PA

“Woody (Richard Wood) and Icky (Michael Ihiekwe) helped me so much and I thank them so much. Leesy and Matty Pearson are the same so I’m hoping I can learn from them as well.

“Being part of a team for a full season was an unbelievable experience. I took confidence from going into games knowing you’re going to win.

“You feel untouchable but you can’t get complacent.

“I think my leadership improved, my talking on the pitch has improved.”

Schofield sees a player who is “more confident, he seems as though he believes he can play in the Championship and he’s got more experience.”

No wonder Huddersfield have sent Rotherham Scott High there this season.

“He can expect honesty,” says Edmonds-Green. “If you’re in his (Warne’s) side he trusts you to the full. It’s just about getting into the side and if he does and he plays well he’ll play as much as he can.”

Such is football’s food chain that as Rotherham were polishing up Edmonds-Green for Huddersfield, the Terriers were doing the same with Colwill and Tino Anjorin for Chelsea.

Whilst Colwill was such a success he is on the verge of a £20m-plus move to Brighton and Hove Albion, Anjorin struggled to make an impression after joining with a still-healing metatarsal in January. Judging by the way he ran at defenders after coming off the bench last week, he has returned for a second loan fitter and more confident.

“Tino’s a special talent - Chelsea hold him in high regard,” says Schofield. “Confidence depends on the character of the player and the environment created for him. Tino has a lot of self-belief and we’re trying to get him to receive the ball in attacking areas and produce that moment where he’s driving at defensive lines.

“The training methods will be different to Chelsea so it does take a period of time to settle in but I do feel a lot of the players have adapted really quickly and Tino’s one of those.”

The loan system seems to be working quite well for Huddersfield right now.

David Kasumu misses out with a hamstring injury.

Last six games: Birmingham City DLDLLL; Huddersfield Town LLWDWW

Referee: G Ward (Surrey)

Last time: Birmingham City 0 Huddersfield Town 2, February 26, 2022, Championship