Rotherham United boss Paul Warne hopeful Rarmani Edmonds-Green stays for the long haul

JANUARY is invariably an important time for Rotherham United. Keeping hold of a player who has come of age there in Rarmani Edmonds-Green will be high on their list of priorities in early 2022.

The loan defender, who showed his mettle for spells during parent club Huddersfield Town’s brush with relegation last season, headed to the equivalent of finishing school with the Millers in August.

The hope that he would learn from the likes of Richard Wood and Michael Ihiekwe on the battlegrounds of League One was one that was shared in Rotherham and Huddersfield and it has rapidly transpired.

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There are few better form players in the division at the minute than Edmonds-Green, affectionately known as ‘REG’ by all and sundry. But herein could lie a bit of a problem.

Town inserted a recall clause into the deal which saw him join United on a season-long loan. It can be activated in January.

It was chiefly to cover the Championship club in the event of injuries.

In that regard, Millers chief Paul Warne will be keeping his fingers crossed that there is no injury crisis at the John Smith’s Stadium this winter.

Performance might be another factor to consider. Should Town’s defensive form falter and Edmonds-Green continue to excel, then it may increase the urge for him to return west, with the club also likely to be mindful that loanee Levi Colwill will return to Chelsea in May and Naby Sarr’s deal expires in June.

LOAN STAR: Rotherham United defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green tackles Charlton Athletic's Conor Washington at The Valley earlier this month Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Warne does not expect that to happen, but he has been around the game long enough to know that things can change.

On Edmonds-Green, recalled early from a loan spell at National League outfit Bromley by ex-Town head coach Danny Cowley in 2019-20, Warne said: “We’ve had pretty good reassurances from Leigh Bromby (head of football operations) that he can stay with us, but I am more than respectful of their position.

“If they have two or three injuries, the situation could change in a heartbeat. It is the risk you always run when you loan a player for the season.

“I don’t foresee it being a problem, but the manager could change; anything could happen and they decide to take him back.

HOME TURF: Huddersfield Town's Rarmani Edmonds-Green fends of Rotherham's Matt Crooks during a derby meeting last season. Picture: Tony Johnson

“If that’s the case, we will thank him for what he’s done, wish him all the best and will always keep in contact with him. Hopefully that won’t happen.”

Highly thought of at his parent club, Edmonds-Green has quickly earned a place in the affections of everyone at Rotherham.

His rise to prominence is all the more laudable given that he was forced to play catch-up after missing pre-season with Town due to a bout of Covid.

It all reflects well upon the Londoner, with circumstances having also helped him in South Yorkshire.

IMPRESSED: Rotherham United boss Paul Warne. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Warne added: “When we spoke to Huddersfield in the summer about potentially getting him, I was surprised that they were allowing him to leave because he played quite a lot of games for them in the Championship last year.

“He played against Crooksy (Matt Crooks) and Smudge (Michael Smith). He did okay; not amazing, but they were wonder-kids for us, so I can’t criticise him for that. We watched loads of his other games, liked him and thought he would be a really good addition to our backline.

“Angus (MacDonald) and Tilty (Curtis Tilt) aren’t part of it, so he’s probably had more opportunities early on than we anticipated.

“Since he got into the team, he’s played virtually every minute.”

Alongside ability, Warne always places great stock in bringing in ‘good characters’ whenever he enters the transfer market and in that regard, Edmonds-Green has definitely come up trumps – just as he did during a loan spell at Town’s neighbours Brighouse Town at the start of his career.

It was there that Edmonds-Green, 22, who moved to Huddersfield after a trial with the London-based Nike Academy, had his first taste of senior football on loan. He made 13 appearances to help Brighouse reach and win the Evo Stik East Division play-off final in 2018-19 and quickly made his mark.

“As a kid, he’s hilarious,” Warne added. “When Smudge scored against Sunderland and did the Kevin Nolan ‘knees up’ goal celebration, REG had a go as well and was hopeless.

“Dan Barlaser celebrated in front of the Sunderland fans. I said to Rich (Barker – assistant): ‘I’ll miss these kids.’ Every year, five or six leave, others come in and we go again. People like REG and Dan are an absolute joy to be around.

“In training, he’s really good. He scored a screamer at Cheltenham the other week, so he thinks he is a goalscoring centre-half now, which he definitely is not.

“He is happy to take on information. He was disappointed that he left Ross Stewart inside for Sunderland’s goal recently. I saw it in his face at half-time. He just wants to learn and play.

“Fair play to him. Young footballers get a bad reputation at times. Yet he left a Championship team that he had played 20-odd league games for to come here to fight to play. Many players of less quality than him wouldn’t have done it.

“Hopefully, in the long run, coming here will have helped his career.”

As for his persona, Warne is also unequivocal.

He continued: “He’s a bit crazy. I’d put him in the same quiz team as Joe Mattock. They wouldn’t get a point between them!

“He’s just charming. If my daughter was older, I’d let her date him. I know she has a massive crush on him, but she’s only 15. He’s just a really good kid.”