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Clarke-Harris happy to be a learner

Coming to a new club as a record transfer signing, a lot of 20-year-olds would probably think they have made it and want to be the star of the show, but not Jonson Clarke-Harris.

The striker joined the Millers from Oldham on transfer deadline day in August for a fee, although undisclosed, thought to be around £400,000.

Arriving in the Championship after just one season of regular football in League One, boss Steve Evans touted his new man as a signing for both the present and future, with the emphasis perhaps put on the future.

And it was a slow start for the Leicester-born frontman until his Millers career burst into life when he came on as a substitute in the Yorkshire derby with Leeds and less than two minutes later thumped in a swerving shot from 25 yards which earned a famous win.

Then, when rewarded with a start against Fulham three days later, he added to his tally with a cute finish from Ben Pringle’s cross in the pulsating 3-3 draw to put his name up in lights.

But throughout it all, Clarke-Harris has remained totally grounded, though that may not be too difficult with Evans' selection as he surprisingly found himself out of the team for the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday.

Nevertheless, he is unfazed about the weight of his price tag and knows he has to work hard both in training and on the pitch if he is to get a regular run of games.

Jonson Clarke-Harris opened his Millers account in fine style against Leeds

"There’s no pressure on me about my fee, I am just one of the boys, I have come here to play football,” he said.

“The price hasn’t got anything to do with me, I am just here to play football.

“The gaffer tells you the truth, he has been telling me what I need to work on, what I am good at.

“He knows when it will be my chance to play. I have been too inconsistent on the training pitch, there’s things that I need to work on and tick some boxes in his head.

“I am grateful for that, even if it is negative or positive feedback, I always like to listen, advice is good for me, I will take it from absolutely anyone.

"There are little things in training that have probably put me back a little bit.

“It’s little things that I know I need to improve on for me to be a regular starter.

“It’s a team game, I have done well in the last two games but I could do something in training that makes the gaffer think ‘Well he’s not ready’. I take every day as it comes and I will always wait for my chance.”

Evans may be willing to tell Clarke-Harris exactly what he needs to be improving on because the Scot knows what a potential star the striker is.

And he has been shouting it from the rooftops, though concedes it may take time until Millers fans see the best of their record signing.

“People should remember his name, we think he is a special talent," said the boss.

"We beat some big clubs in the Championship to get his services.

"He needs to be instilled with confidence every day and I will be the manager that gives him that.

"He really has every attribute. He is very talented, he is strong, but at times he has a schoolboy approach with his runs.

"We really think he could be a real find and talent, but we need to work with him.

“There's a lot more to come from him, though, he has got staggering potential.

“We have watched him enough times to realise what he was doing at Oldham was all self taught.

“He needs to be coached into becoming a more accomplished striker, about timing his runs and when to go long and short.

“It was the raw potential we saw, it will be 18 months before we have him right.

“He has just left his teens. He has settled in, he's a lovely kid. He is son in law material, if your daughter walked in with him you'd be happy.

Record-breaking Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was an idol for JCH
“He conducts himself properly and the nice thing from our point of view is he wants to improve, he wants to get out on the training ground and work hard.

“He wants us to teach him and work with him and when he has that desire there's always an opportunity.”

Evans believes that Clarke-Harris’ array of attributes are so unique that he is incomparable any modern striker.

Comparison is also something Clarke-Harris himself wants to avoid, though admits to admiring a certain former Arsenal striker and hopes he can emulate his prolific nature.

“I don’t compare myself to anyone,” he added. “There are players that I like but I don’t really want to compare myself to any of them. I am just here to my job as the player I am.

“But Thierry Henry was a hero. He had pace, power and could finish so he is the all-time person that I wanted to be.

“I see myself able to score 15 goals a season, if I didn’t I wouldn’t want to be a striker. That is the goal that I want to be aiming for.”

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