Blackburn Rovers have certainly enjoyed plenty of success with young players coming through the ranks at Ewood Park in recent seasons.
The likes of Darragh Lenihan, Lewis Travis, Ryan Nyambe, John Buckley, Scott Wharton and Tyrhys Dolan are all players who have been able to make a big impact for Tony Mowbray’s side, even from the very early stages of their careers.
Now, it is possible that youth is something the club will have to look to again for the 2022/23 campaign.
With a long list of players set to see their contracts or loans with the Lancashire club expire in the summer, there will be plenty of voids to fill in the side next season.
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While Rovers could look to the transfer market to do that, it is also possible that there will be an increased role for some of those in the academy set-up to help keep the first-team competitive.
So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at two of Blackburn’s young players, who could have more of a part to play for the first-team from the start of the new campaign.
One player who has already made some brief first-team outings in Blackburn colours who could be in line to add to that tally next season, is Jack Vale.
The young attacker has been in excellent form for the club’s Under 23s this season, with eight goals in ten games, including two hat-tricks, while he has also gained some senior experience with loan spells elsewhere.
With top scorer Ben Brereton-Diaz likely to be the subject of much interest once the market reopens, and loanees Reda Khadra and Ian Poveda both set to return to their parent clubs, there will be voids to fill in Blackburn’s attack, which could lead to more opportunities for the 21-year-old.
There are also likely to be gaps to fill in Blackburn’s defence, with Darragh Lenihan out of contract, Jan Paul van Hecke only on loan for this season, and Daniel Ayala’s fitness still unreliable.
That is something that could open the door for fellow centre back Ash Phillips, who at 16-years-old, is already featuring regularly for the club at Under 23s level, and starring for England in his age category, something tht has prompted links with Manchester United and Chelsea.
As a result, with Rovers likely to need some new defensive options in the summer, there could be an opportunity for Phillips. Indeed, given the progress he is making and attention he is attracting, means the teenager is someone the club may soon be trusting to step up to senior level, especially after being included in the matchday squad for the FA Cup clash with Wigan back in January.