Ben Whiteman has told the Doncaster Free Press why he’s happy to remain at the Keepmoat this season.
The midfielder had been the subject of interest from former boss Grant McCann at Hull City, with reports of a seven-figure offer being tabled.
It was a worrying time for Rovers fans, they’d already seen John Marquis sold as well as a host of key players such as Tommy Rowe and Danny Andrew leave the club.
Darren Moore was determined to keep his star man in South Yorkshire and Whiteman has revealed he had no qualms about that at all.
“I think it does flatter you. It’s the Championship and to be recognised is an achievement that shows what I did last year,” he said.
“I’m very happy to be at the football club, especially after getting the captaincy. It’s a massive honour to lead the lads out, to represent the football club.”
Whilst he’s happy to stay put for now, he has expressed a desire to play at a higher level, either with Rovers or without them.
“There were a few discussions and the two clubs obviously spoke and didn’t really agree. I’m really happy here and I could see my football being played here.
“I wouldn’t be a professional football if I didn’t want to be playing at the highest level. That’s not to say I can’t do it here. Hopefully, we can get promoted this season and I can play in the Championship. I do see myself playing at a higher level.”
Whiteman spent time with Manchester United as a youth, later switching to Sheffield United where he first earned a professional deal. He made a handful of appearances for the Blades, spending time at Mansfield Town on loan before a temporary spell with Rovers which turned permanent.
Whiteman is a real talent and a saleable one at that. I was incredibly surprised he didn’t make the move, but it would have been a disaster for Doncaster.
They’ve been torn apart this summer and need to have something to build a side around. Whiteman is a symbol of the new era, settled and a ket part of last year’s success, but also with the drive to help carry them forward.
I still expected further interest in the January window and where Doncaster are in the table could decide whether Hull, or other suitors, are successful in prising him away.