Portsmouth transfer news: Who is Rotherham midfielder and ex-Celtic youngster Jamie Lindsay and why a move could happen
Rotherham midfielder Jamie Lindsay is the latest name to be linked with a January move to Pompey.
According to reports, Blues boss Danny Cowley has had a bid for the 26-year-old Scot turned down by the Millers as he looks to add to his midfield options before Monday night’s 11pm transfer deadline.
It’s been suggested that Pompey will go back with an improved offer for the Celtic youth product.
But who exactly is Lindsay and why is Cowley wanting to splash the cash on his signature?
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Here’s what we have found out and what’s been said about him in the past...
‘Narky, mobile, combative’
‘Narky, mobile, combative, ready to push an opponent twice if he gets pushed once’ – was how the Rotherham Advertiser’s Paul Davis described the Scot in an article dated November 2019 – five months after Lindsay made his move south of the border from Ross County.
That summer, the Millers had lost Will Vaulks, Semi Ajayi and Richie Towell and needed midfield reinforcements.
Fresh from winning the Scottish Championship title with the Staggies and the Challenge Cup, Lindsay was identified as someone to fill the void.
And while it understandably took him time to adjust to the demands of English football, he soon started to make an impression.
‘Lindsay never stops running, pressing, challenging, irritating,’ added Davis.
‘GPS data shows that he is consistently in the Millers’ top three for distance covered during a match.
‘He doesn’t have the long throw (that Vaulks had) but does have more sharpness in his running.
‘The winner of a 50:50 challenge between the two would be a 50:50 bet and both would put money on themselves.’
‘We weren't surprised to see that there were clubs interested’
Rotherham had clearly spotted something in a player who had been plying his trade in the second tier of Scottish football.
It was a gamble to ask him to step up to League One level, especially when Rotherham had Championship ambitions and had seen an initial £150,000 bid rejected by County.
However, Lindsay’s then manager, Stuart Kettlewell had no doubt in the player’s capabilities.
‘We were offered a substantial amount of money for Jamie and it was something we couldn't turn down,’ said Kettlewell, after a reported bid of £200,000 was accepted.
‘I think Jamie maximised his potential here, he had a terrific season here and we weren't surprised to see that there were clubs interested in him.
‘He has always had a burning desire to go and play down south and he goes with our best wishes.’
Feisty, athletic and with an eye for goal
Rotherham’s calculated gamble on Lindsay came down to head of recruitment Rob Scott’s knowledge of the player.
Impressed with what he had seen from the then 23-year-old, he convinced Warne to follow up his interest.
And it appears Warne was delighted he did.
He told the Rotherham Advertiser: ‘Jamie was one of Scotty’s.
‘We had a big void in the middle of the park with losing Will and Semi.
‘I’d always liked Dan Barlaser and managed to get him in from Newcastle United. I thought he could bring something different to what we had. He’s got great range of passing and control of the game.
‘Scotty brought Jamie to my attention along with a few other players. Jamie seemed to encapsulate what we want from a midfielder.
‘He’s a bit feisty, athletic and had an eye for goal in Scotland. All of those things married up quite well. I’m really pleased with him.’
‘I wasn't one of the boys who wanted to sit about kidding on I played for Celtic’
With such rave reviews, it begs the question why Rotherham would entertain letting Lindsay go – especially when they sit proudly at the top of League One.
Well, so far, there is no suggestion they will part ways with a player who has made 86 Millers appearances since that 2019 move from Scotland.
Indeed, while Lindsay currently sits behind Dan Barlaser, Ollie Rathbone and Ben Wiles in the New York Stadium midfield pecking order, the league leaders are hardly flush in that area and would be reluctant to weaken their options in such a key area.
But two scenarios could change that.
One, Rotherham find a suitable replacement between now and 11pm tomorrow night.
Secondly, the player’s desire for more game comes into play.
Lindsay has made 23 appearances this season – but only nine of those have been starts in the league.
And going back to his Celtic days, where he was behind the likes of Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Callum McGregor, Nir Bitton and Ryan Christie, there’s clearly an ambition to play week in, week out and to make an name for himself.
Speaking to the Glasgow Times in 2020, Lindsay said: ‘I knew when I left Celtic, the time was right. I wasn't one of the boys who wanted to sit about kidding on I played for Celtic, because I knew I was never going to.
‘I was 21-years-old and had never played for the Celtic first team so I knew I probably was never going to play.
‘I thought if I sit about for another year, it's another year less that I have an opportunity to go and do something for myself.
‘I loved Celtic, I came through since I was 10, so leaving and not playing was disappointing.
‘At the end of the day, the quicker you accept it's not going to happen and go work hard, the better.’
‘He doesn't want to be not involved’
Paul Warne provided another insight into Lindsay’s character when a recent hamstring injury prevented him from being involved with the first team for October and most of November.
Speaking after Rotherham’s trip to Cheltenham on October 2, he said ‘He (Lindsay) travelled down this weekend, he didn't want to miss out, trained this morning in the pool and did gym work.
‘He doesn't want to be not involved.
‘When I saw him Friday he seemed a bit better, but life is too short to be unhappy for too long.
‘He doesn't take injury well, he wants to play every minute. He's a competitor. If the physio says six to eight weeks, knowing the man he is it will definitely be six not eight.
‘Hopefully he comes through no problems and look forward to seeing him back.’
Lindsay would clearly be a great addition to Pompey’s midfield.
His competitive spirit, pressing game, feisty nature, athleticism and ability to play further forward would fit in perfectly with Danny Cowley’s vision and make him an instant hit with the Fratton faithful.
And although Rotherham forked out £200,000 for him in 2019, he’s now entered the final six months of his contract.
The Blues demonstrated with their purchase of Denver Hume that they are willing to spend on players with their best years ahead of them.
Lindsay also fits into that category.
The main stumbling block, if the reports are true, is Rotherham’s stance on the player.
By all accounts, he was one of their better performers in the Championship last term and is still highly-rated at the New York Stadium.
Would Paul Warne be willing to let a key member of his squad go when they are closing in on another Championship return?
Keep an eye on the Millers’ transfer business over the next 36 hours for the answer to that.