Newcastle United academy graduate opens up on 'very sad' exit
Dan Barlaser has opened up on his decision to leave Newcastle United last summer and join Rotherham United permanently.
The midfielder ended his 14-year association with his boyhood club in favour of pursuing regular game time at Championship level with the Millers.
Barlaser helped Paul Warne’s side to League One promotion during his 2019/20 loan spell before being handed the opportunity to impress Steve Bruce in pre-season last year.
And while the former Turkey youth international featured in Carabao Cup wins against Blackburn Rovers and Morecambe, Bruce reluctantly informed Barlaser that he would not be selected for the 25-man Premier League squad.
Rather than spend a season in the under-23s or on loan elsewhere, Barlaser decided it was best to leave St James’s Park on a permanent basis and return to the New York Stadium.
“I thought I had a very good pre-season,” Barlaser told the Greenwood and Mulliner Show.
"I did alright against Blackburn and in the Morecambe game, I came on for about 20 minutes and we were 7-0 up at one stage, so you can’t really show yourself that much.
"He (Steve Bruce) had a chat to say I wasn’t going to be in the squad and said I could leave.
"Really, I could have said ‘I’m not leaving’. I was on a decent wage, I could have stayed and played in the under-23s for a year.
"But I thought I’ll go somewhere where I’m wanted in Rotherham, play in the Championship and show what I can do.”
After making his first team debut during the FA Cup win against Birmingham City in January 2017, Barlaser went on to feature in further cup ties against Oxford United, Nottingham Forest, Blackburn and Morecambe.
He then headed on loan to Crewe Alexandra and Accrington Stanley before establishing as a firm favourite at Rotherham.
Indeed, Barlaser still dreams of playing in the Premier League after the opportunity just alluded him on Tyneside – citing former teammate and Brentford striker Ivan Toney as his inspiration.
He added: “It was very sad leaving after that much time thinking I could have given more or if I had been given a chance in the Premier League but hopefully, I can work my way back up, kind of like what Ivan (Toney) has done.”