With 11 players having already left Ewood Park this summer following the expiry of their contracts or loans, the summer transfer window will no doubt be a busy one for Blackburn Rovers.
In the wake of those departures, Rovers will have to bring in a number of new players to help fill the void left by those that have moved on for pastures new.
But with finances tight, that may not be the easiest thing to do for the Lancashire club through the transfer market, meaning they may have to find other ways of strengthening their squad.
Luckily for Rovers, do they have excellent form for bringing players through their academy – now Championship club used more youth graduates than Blackburn (10) in their first-team last season – so and that set-up could once again help them out in the coming campaign.
With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at two youngsters who we could see enjoy a breakthrough campaign with Rovers next season.
Recent seasons have seen two of Rovers’ academy graduates – Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rankin-Costello – provide the options for Tony Mowbray at right-back.
But with Rankin-Costello a more naturally attacking player, and that a position he would seem to prefer to play long-term, Rovers may need to find some fresh cover and competition for Nyambe on that side of the Blackburn defence.
That could come in the form of the 19-year-old Pike, who has been one of the standout features of Rovers’ ever improving Under 23s side in recent years, to the point where big things are already expected of the full-back, despite the fact he is yet to even make his senior debut. The experiences of both Rankin-Costello and Nyambe in stepping up to the first-team, suggest he may not have to go out on loan to do that.
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One player who feels like they are facing a big season ahead in their career, is striker Dan Butterworth.
When fit, Butterworth has been prolific for Rovers at youth level, even earning the odd first-team run out with that form, but injuries have played havoc with his chance to pick up any sort of momentum in the past couple of seasons.
At 21, this therefore feels like a crucial season for Butterworth as he approaches a stage where he should be regular first-team football, and with speculation around the future of Adam Armstrong refusing to go away, you wonder if that could even see him handed the opportunity to help Rovers cope with that potential loss of firepower upfront across the course of the campaign, something his finishing ability means he may be capable of doing.