Rotherham United: Millers in Revell talks as Becchio impresses

Luciano Becchio
Luciano Becchio

One is a Rotherham United legend who helped the club earn two promotions and scored the wonder-goal in the 2014 Wembley League One Play-off Final that fans still talk about.

The other came for five games, shone briefly and departed injured.

Regardless of the respective Millers pasts of strikers Alex Revell and Luciano Becchio, manager Neil Redfearn would be delighted to see both wearing a red-and-white shirt again.

Rotherham, who travel to Leeds United on Saturday in the FA Cup third round, are talking to 32-year-old Revell’s present club, Cardiff City, about the possibility of a deal, while free agent Becchio is training with them for a fortnight so they can assess his fitness.

“Alex is somebody we have looked at,” Redfearn confirmed. ”He is somebody we’re interested in. There’s been dialogue between the clubs. He’s is obviously someone who did well for this football club. He’s fondly remembered by the supporters here and I know he feels the same way about the club and the fans.”

The Millers boss knows Becchio from their time at Leeds together, and the Argentine has already stood out in his first few days back.

“I look at how he has been through the week and his finishing has been unbelievable,” Redfearn said,

“His one-touch finishing and awareness in the box is superb. He is definitely not a typical Argentinian. He is an old-style centre forward. He goes and gets on the end of things. For us, if we get the supporters behind him and get balls into the box then he will be the right type.

“Him and Alex Revell are the right types for us.”

Becchio, who turned 32 last month, made three starts and two substitute appearances during a September 2014 loan spell at AESSEAL New York Stadium from Norwich City, scoring twice and beginning to look a real danger as his fitness improved.

Alex Revell in action for the Millers

Alex Revell in action for the Millers

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But an injury suffered in training saw him head back to Carrow Road early and then he left England at the end of last season to return to his homeland.

Rotherham are pleased with the fitness levels he has shown so far and he is leaner figure than the one Millers supporters saw last year.

“We have to make sure he is 100 per cent because he has had a bad injury. We have to make sure we do that right, and he understands that,” Redfearn said. “The boy is keen to get back into football and pick his career back up. He was prolific at Leeds. If we can get him somewhere near where we know he can be, then we have got a player on his hands.

Cardiff's Alex Revell in action during a loan spell this season with Wigan

Cardiff's Alex Revell in action during a loan spell this season with Wigan

“There is still plenty of time left in him. We have got a two-week window where we can look at him. He is enjoying his time here. Hopefully we can get something over the line. We need to get him up to speed injury wise and then we can sit down and talk business with him because he is a prolific striker. We’ll have to monitor it. But we are very hopeful.”

Redfearn is looking to strengthen his squad in all departments and says a couple of deals are “very close” to being struck.

“We know the ones we want to bring in. We’re very close to getting two in,” he said, “We’ve spoken to players, spoken to agents - all with positive feedback. “We’re looking at midfield and we’re looking at striking options. In time for the weekend? You never say never. I’m hoping so. If we can come to agreements with the clubs and the clubs play ball, we might get a couple in.”

Rotherham have selection headaches ahead of the showdown against Leeds, managed by former Millers boss Steve Evans, with Lee Frecklington, Farrend Rawson, Stephen Kelly and Leon Best injured, Richard Wood cup-tied, Lewis Buxton still ruled out by a contractual issue and Tony Andreu returning to parent club Norwich.

But loan duo Grant Ward and Shay Facey have the all-clear play while Greg Halford, Aidy White and Jordan Bowery have added to the options after returning from temporary spells elsewhere.

Redfearn said no phone calls had been received about centre-forward Jonson Clarke-Harris despite reports of interest from several of the Millers’ fellow Championship sides.

The 21-year-old is Rotherham’s leading scorer this season with six goals in 24 appearances, but has a fair way to go before he can match Becchio’s record during his time at Elland Road ... 86 in 177 starts.