Despite something of a frustrating summer transfer window, it has been an encouraging start to the season for Blackburn Rovers on the pitch.
With eight points from their five league games so far, Tony Mowbray’s side go into the September international break tenth in the Championship table.
One player who has generated a considerable amount of interest since the start of the campaign is attacker Ben Brereton-Diaz, something which is perhaps not surprising given his headline-grabbing exploits for Chile at this summer’s Copa America.
But just what can we take away from Brereton-Diaz’ outings for Blackburn during the first month of the season?
Here, we’ve taken a look at two things we’ve learnt about the Rovers striker during that time.
He is ready to fill the Adam Armstrong void
With Rovers having seen last season’s 29-goal top scorer Adam Armstrong leave for Southampton, and failed to replace him with another centre forward in the transfer market, there is going to be plenty of pressure on Brereton to fill that goalscoring void this season.
That is something the Chilean international has seemingly relished right from the opening game of the season, when he stepped into Armstrong’s role as penalty taker to net what proved to be a decisive spot-kick in a 2-1 win over Swansea.
Brereton has since gone on to add two more goals to his tally, with the confidence the 22-year-old is playing with, suggesting he is backing himself to step up and become that key man Rovers badly need at Ewood Park.
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Securing a new contract is crucial long-term
While the sight of Brereton showing signs of promise of getting the goals Rovers will need this season, it does highlight another long-term issue for the club to address, with regards to his own future.
As things stand, Brereton is now into the final year of his contract at Ewood Park, meaning the club face the prospect of losing him for free at the end of this season – or even to an overseas club on a pre-contract agreement in January – if no contract is agreed before then.
Given the club have struggled to replace Armstrong even with the fee they received for him, bringing in a replacement for Brereton could be even trickier next summer if he leaves for nothing. With that in mind, securing a new long-term deal for the attacker sooner rather than later looks to be vital for Rovers moving forward.