David Holdsworth says Carlisle United are “over the moon” that Joshua Kayode is staying at Brunton Park for the season.

The Blues director of football says United have secured loan striker Kayode for the full campaign.

The young frontman is on a season-long loan with Carlisle but there had been fears his Championship parent club could send him elsewhere this month.

Holdsworth, though, says United have managed to hold onto the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international despite late interest from a League One club.

He said Kayode was keen to see out the campaign with Chris Beech’s Carlisle and play a full part in their League Two promotion challenge.

“We are over the moon and Chris is over the moon,” Holdsworth told the News & Star. “We are delighted he is staying.

“JJ had the opportunity to go to a higher league, but turned it down because he has bought into Chris Beech, Carlisle United and the supporters here.

“He is happy at Carlisle United and wants to see it through.

“We thank Rotherham for their help and assistance with allowing us to extend his time with us, and we hope JJ will have a positive second half of the season.

“He is an integral part of our dressing room.”

Kayode, who first joined Carlisle on loan last season, has been a key part of Beech’s high-flying side in the first half of the 2020/21 campaign.

The hard-working frontman, who has been nursing a knee injury recently, has hit four goals this campaign as well as netting his first international goal for the Irish Under-21 side against Luxembourg in November.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne recently said that Kayode would benefit more from remaining out on loan rather than being recalled into the Millers squad this month.

That appeared to leave open the risk the Yorkshire outfit could loan him elsewhere, but Blues boss Beech last week said that, after talks with Rotherham personnel, he was confident Kayode would be staying.

“Everybody saw [Rotherham boss] Paul Warne’s interview [when he said Kayode would stay out on loan], everybody knows how JJ feels about Carlisle, and how I feel about JJ being at Carlisle,” Beech said then.

“His agent, etc, understand his opportunity here, so I can’t see anybody looking to undo that good work.

“Rotherham have already decided in that interview that they’ve got three or four different options that they feel will help them stay in the Championship or fight for that right, and they see JJ as a medium to long-term fix for getting involved in their first team.

“That coincides with next season. I don’t think there’s anything to talk about, really, [with] JJ, other than his knee’s sore and hopefully he’ll be fit very soon.”

Kayode is one of a host of attacking options available to Beech, along with Omari Patrick, Lewis Alessandra, Gime Toure, Offrande Zanzala, Brennan Dickenson, Cedwyn Scott and Ethan Walker.