Why the January transfer window has never fully opened for Yorkshire’s clubs

Adam Davies's move to Sheffield United is one of the few cash deals in Yorkshire this month. Picture: Simon Bellis/SportimageAdam Davies's move to Sheffield United is one of the few cash deals in Yorkshire this month. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Adam Davies's move to Sheffield United is one of the few cash deals in Yorkshire this month. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
OUT of the 40-plus transfers involving Yorkshire clubs in the January window, only one has attracted a significant outlay thus far.

That saw Middlesbrough beat off competition from Celtic to sign Australian international midfielder Riley McGree, with the only other notable deals having seen Stoke City goalkeeper Adam Davies join Sheffield United for £250,000 and Rotherham United defender Curtis Tilt move to Wigan for a low six-figure fee.

Almost half have been loans and the others have mainly been free transfers. Clubs are being watchful and prudent across the county, including Yorkshire’s only Premier League representative in Leeds United.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Speaking last weekend, Leeds CEO Angus Kinnear said that the club would rather invest in a youngster with a high ceiling than shelve out big money on a proven senior player.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: PA.Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: PA.
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Picture: PA.

Hull City are perhaps one club in line for some key late business following the news that their soft transfer embargo has been lifted.

The Tigers, recently taken over by Acun Ilicali, are no longer working under restrictions after repaying an EFL-monitored loan.

But most other White Rose clubs – and those beyond – have little hard cash at their disposal to make a splurge in the winter window as the financial fallout of Covid continues to bite.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rotherham chief Paul Warne said: “I just don’t believe there is any money in football at this time through obvious reasons.

“Everyone is broke through Covid. Apart from Newcastle in the Premier League, there’s hardly any money that has been spent, so I don’t foresee the third tier of English football suddenly seeing a big bid for a striker.”

Warne accepted a transfer request from wantaway striker Freddie Ladapo earlier this month.

Thus far, there have been no offers for the 12-goal forward, with the Millers boss doubtful whether there will be due to the depressed state of the market.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Warne, who would like to bring in two new players in an ideal world before the deadline, added: “I could be wrong, but I cannot forsee a big bid coming in for him.

“There’s still no bids. I am not aware of anything. But I am not aware of any bids for any of our players. Maybe something will happen, but at this moment, I cannot see it.

“If there isn’t any money, why would we be selling a Chieo (Chiedozie Ogbene), Wilesy (Ben Wiles) or a Smudge (Michael Smith) or an Iky (Michael Ihiekwe). Why would we? Unless it’s a substantial amount of money.

“We are trying to get back to the Championship and don’t need the money or to sell. I just cannot see a bid coming in which will turn anyone’s head.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A hat-trick of instant promotions back to the Championship may be Warne’s overwhelming priority in 2021-22, but the club also find themselves within one win of a Wembley appearance following Tuesday penalty shoot-out victory over Cambridge United in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Warne’s Millers famously triumphed at the home of football in the League One play-off final back in 2017-18 and another appearance there would add to the feel-good factor in what has been a wonderfully consistent season so far and provide further kudos for the club – and a cash windfall.

Warne, whose side are now 16 matches undefeated on home soil in all competitions, said: “I think it will be great for the players.

“You think if they get an opportunity to play at Wembley in front of their kids, it’s something amazing. It is also for the parents who drove them to training every night for 10 years and all that. It is something for them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It would be an amazing thing, but if we put a team out in the next round and don’t go through, that’s how it is. But if you offered me Wembley or promotion, it’s a no-brainer.”

Back in 2016, Barnsley famously secured promotion from League One alongside glory in the EFL Trophy and provided fulsome proof that success on two fronts can be done.

Rotherham’s strong squad options and empty treatment room also mean that the competition is no hindrance either.

“I remember when Barnsley went up and Hecky (Heckingbottom) did it,” Warne continued.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I am lucky I’ve 22 fit players and no injuries. I remember when Hursty (ex-Shrewsbury manager Paul Hurst) won the ‘Papa John’s’. I thought at the time they’d be exhausted at the end of the season.

“We beat them at Wembley (in the League One play-off final) and I love Hursty. But physically, I thought we were better than them as I just thought they were jaded as it is a lot of games.

“We are lucky. In the Cambridge game, I made nine changes and it allowed everyone else to play and I am not carrying (injuries to league regulars).

“The longer we go on a cup run, the better. I am not stupid and know every round has money and it is good for the club. If it gives the lads games, it is better for them to play in the Papa John’s than a reserve game. It is a win-win for us.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.