Speaking to the Sheffield Star, Rotherham United boss Paul Warne has said that speculation regarding a possible move to Nottingham Forest could be behind midfielder Matt Crooks’ struggles.

Since signing for Rotherham United in January 2019, midfielder Matt Crooks has been a fixture in Paul Warne’s starting 11. However, in the early stages of this season, Crooks was in and out of the side, making for somewhat of a stop-start campaign so far.

Crooks was subject of transfer speculation in the summer transfer window, we covered reports here on The72 revealing that Nottingham Forest were looking to sign the midfielder.

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Now, Millers boss Warne has been asked as to whether or not he thinks the links with a move away have played a part in Crooks’ struggles for consistency. Speaking to the Sheffield Star, he said:

“Could be, it is not an exact science. I don’t know how many of my players are absolutely 100 per cent but I think Crooksy sticks out because he was so influential over the last couple of years.

“If (Mohamed) Salah doesn’t play well for Liverpool everyone notices. With Crooksy, he is getting more like the player we want him to be.

“Has the transfer rumour and anything else that has gone on in his life affected him? Maybe. But that is just an excuse. It might not have. Every player has dips and troughs in his form and they play their way out of it. Crooksy is doing a lot to get out the other side of it.”

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Crooks netted his first goal of the season in Rotherham United’s 2-1 win over Preston North End. The goal takes him to an impressive 16 goals in 65 appearances since joining the club and he will now be looking to kick on and get back to his best.

Rotherham United fans, would you keep Crooks in the starting 11? Have your say in the poll below.

Would you start Crooks?