Icelander backed to lead Millers to glory

AS Rotherham United prepare for a new era as League football comes to the New York Stadium for the first time, manager Steve Evans believes Kari Arnason can dominate the basement division.

The 29-year-old has arrived at the Millers on a free transfer from Aberdeen as a key part of the rebuilding under Evans.

Craig Brown, the Aberdeen manager, was desperate to hold on to Arnason but the Icelandic international instead opted to return to English football – he spent two years from 2009 with Plymouth Argyle – and his new manager could not be happier.

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Evans said: “Arnason should be in the Championship. Craig Brown is one of my old managers who I speak to regularly and he said that in League One or Two, he will be the best player every week.

“That might be a big claim. But if he is at it, attitude-wise, there is no reason why he can’t be as he has got everything.

“I went to see him for Iceland against a full French side in front of 30,000 fans and he was man of the match by a distance.

“If he can be man of the match in an international match against a full French side, he can certainly dominate a few League Two games.”

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Evans is delighted with the summer recruitment that has seen the Millers’ squad given a major overhaul.

A host of eye-catching signings have arrived with Arnason joined at the New York Stadium by the likes of Daniel Nardiello, David Noble, Lionel Ainsworth and Kayode Odejayi.

The new arrivals may have come in on free transfers but there can be no doubting the tremendous pedigree that Rotherham possess ahead of their sixth consecutive season in the basement.

Evans added: “Noble is a top player and if it wasn’t for injuries, he’d be playing in the Championship now.

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“Up front, we have also got competition. I could have sold (Alex) Revell for good money this summer and two or three clubs made good bids for him.

“But we always said ‘no’ as we are building rather than taking down and have four or five good strikers.”

Fans with tickets for today’s game against Burton Albion – the first competitive fixture at United’s new home after a host of friendlies – are asked to arrive early.