June 16, 2024

Blackburn Rovers’ remaining transfer priorities with four holes for Gregg Broughton to fill

Blackburn Rovers have three new signings through the door at Ewood Park but there remains work to do in the transfer market

Aligned ambitions and a clear vision | rovers.co.uk

Three down, perhaps three to go for Blackburn Rovers in the transfer market.

Gregg Broughton has been a busy bee early on, bringing in a trio of fresh faces. Niall Ennis, Sondre Tronstad and Arnor Sigurdsson complete the new cast to bolster Jon Dahl Tomasson’s options.

The bookends of the new recruits help to address the glaring weakness in Rovers’ squad, their attack. A lack of goals cost the team last year as they missed out on the play-offs via goal difference.

After the fiasco of January, Broughton needed a strong start to the summer and their preparation has been rewarded. Supporters are in good spirits and the pressure has been eased as the players return for pre-season.

Naturally, the obvious question is where next for Rovers? Broughton intimated that the club wanted three new faces before the end of June and that mission has been accomplished but there is still work to do.

Broughton told Lancs Live that Rovers want to add another defender to their ranks following the departure of Daniel Ayala. It’s understood the club are looking for a versatile player capable of filling multiple positions, in particular left-back.

That is because Tayo Edun is expected to move on, leaving Harry Pickering as the only senior player in that role. However, Callum Brittain can play switch from right to left, Jake Batty is an emerging talent and the acquisition of a versatile defender would perhaps offer enough cover.

Rovers have replaced Tyler Morton with Tronstad and that should be enough in central midfield. Of course, should there be any departures, that could change, bearing in mind Rovers have rejected an offer for Lewis Travis from Millwall already.

The main pieces of the puzzle are in attack. Tomasson has described Sigurdsson as a player that can play on either wing or as a number 10 or even as a false nine.

Rovers allowed Bradley Dack to leave whilst Ben Brereton Diaz ran down his contract. Sigurdsson, in theory, comes in for one of those players, though the club may feel his versatility allows them to get by with just one like-for-like replacement.

On the right wing, Rovers have a vacancy after Sorba Thomas’ loan ended. Dilan Markanday is back from his ill-fated loan at Aberdeen but he will need to have an impressive pre-season to convince Tomasson he is good enough to play regularly.

The winger was not used in the Championship until December last season before leaving on January transfer deadline day. He barely played in Scotland and so I would expect the club to target another right-sided attacker and loan out Markanday.

So, if you have lost count, that is one centre-back, a right-winger and perhaps a number 10/left-winger, depending on where Sigurdsson plays. The glaring hole remains at number nine.

Of course, Ennis’ arrival gives Blackburn more options than they had and Sam Gallagher is still an important player. But I doubt Tomasson will be satisfied if the window ends and those are his only striking options.

 

Gregg Broughton stands by his Blackburn Rovers summer communication  approach to - LancsLive

 

Broughton said the club would use Premier League loans, which naturally fall into place later in the window. Perhaps, after signing Ennis early in the window, they will look to find another nine in that market; someone who can really raise the ceiling of the team.

Strikers cost the most money and right now, Rovers don’t have any to play with. Therefore it makes logical sense for their marquee striker to come from the top flight on a temporary basis.

Should Rovers sign players for those positions, it would give Tomasson far greater depth. It would allow the likes of Jack Vale and perhaps Harry Leonard to go out on loan and develop their game, rather than be thrust into the pressure of a top-six Championship race prematurely.

Of course, pre-season will give Tomasson a good idea of what level his young players are at. Is Batty ready to compete as second or third in line at left-back?

How has Sam Barnes recovered from his anterior cruciate ligament injury? There are five players from the Under-21s training with the group too. Only time will tell how they develop.

Plenty can happen between now and September 1 but as things stand, there are four obvious areas for Rovers to strengthen before you consider possible departures such as Thomas Kaminski. It’s been a great start to the window but there remains plenty of work to do.

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