Lembikisa completes Rotherham switch

Dexter Lembikisa will spend the 2023/24 campaign at Rotherham United after completing a season-long loan move to the Championship side.

The loan will mark Lembikisa’s first away from Molineux, providing the full-back with the opportunity to compete for regular first-team football.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season last time out, making his senior debut in the Carabao Cup, Premier League and Emirates FA Cup as he became an established member of the first-team squad.

Lembikisa, an academy graduate, has been with the Old Gold since the age of 13 and signed a new long-term deal back in January this year.

His rise has also been recognised on the international stage, with Lembikisa capped seven times by Jamaica in the last five months including five appearances at the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup where he helped the Reggae Boyz reach the semi-finals.

Pathways manager Steve Davis, who handed Lembikisa his first senior outing in November 2022, said: “Dexter has progressed really well and clubs will have taken notice of his spell with Jamaica recently, playing a key factor in where he’s ended up for his first loan.

“He’s more than capable of doing well in the Championship. It’s a good place to be, a good club to go to and it’s a great first loan for him. It’s a reward for his progression through to the first-team and also with his call-up at international level.”

Davis coached Lembikisa at under-18 level and believes that his confidence in his own ability and consistent approach to training was important when the defender made the step up to the first-team squad.

“The stint with the first-team has really helped and training with those players everyday has brought him on again and pushed him to see what he can do more of. When players train regularly with the first-team, we find that they have to up their game and they get to know what the standard’s like.

“He’s always been a confident boy and felt that he belongs in that company, which has helped him settle quickly into the first-team environment.

“When you’ve got someone who is consistent each day and doesn’t look out of place in that environment with top-class players, you have to have every confidence that when he does get an opportunity, he’ll be fine.”

Rotherham are entering their second successive season in the Championship and Davis knows that the competitiveness of the second tier will place Lembikisa in good stead, given the quality throughout the division.

“He’s going to have some really tough games against some really good opposition. The wingers in that league will be good and some are top Championship and Premier League wingers, so he’s going to get tested.

“I’m interested to see how he copes with that. I’ll be going to watch the games and will keep a close eye on his progression.”