It’s now less than a week until the start of 2020, and that of course, means that the January transfer window is almost upon us.
With so much to play for in the second half of the season, every team is likely to want to strengthen their squad in January, and Blackburn Rovers are no different.
Tony Mowbray’s side are well in contention for a play-off spot heading into the second half of the campaign, and they will want to add to their options in order to keep them in the fight for a top-six spot all the way through to May.
For that to happen however, Rovers may have to let some of their current players say farewell to Ewood Park, in order to both raise funds and make space in the squad for any potential new arrivals.
Here, we take a look at three players who we expect to leave the club between now and the end of January in order to allow that to happen.
One senior player who could well find himself on the way out of Ewood in January is central midfielder Richie Smallwood.
Having been a mainstay of the starting lineup following his move from Rotherham in the summer of 2017, Smallwood has slipped down the pecking order at Blackburn since the turn of the year, with his only appearances this season coming in the Carabao Cup.
That seems to suggest that there is little future for Smallwood at Blackburn, and with his contract at the club set to expire in the summer, you imagine Rovers will want to move him on in January in order to receive a fee for the midfielder, rather than allowing him to leave for nothing at the end of the season.
Opportunities have been hard to come by for Harry Chapman recently, with the winger making just three senior appearances since his return to Blackburn from Middlesbrough on a permanent basis in January.
Speaking last month, Mowbray had revealed that he wants to give the 22-year-old the chance to impress for the first-team before making a decision on whether to send him on loan in search for more regular football in January.
Given that senior game time has still to come since the Blackburn boss made those comments, it could be argued that a temporary departure from Ewood Park for Chapman now looks likely.
Injuries haven’t been kind to Dominic Samuel in the past year or so, with the forward making just two substitute appearances since August 2018 as a result of his fitness problems.
The 25-year-old is now looking to force his way back into the first-team after overcoming those issues, but the number of attacking options ahead of him in the Ewood Park pecking order haven’t helped Samuel here either, despite his recent prolific form for the club’s Under 23 side.
A loan move elsewhere in January could therefore prove beneficial for the forward as he looks to get back up to speed with the senior game, with Mowbray himself recently suggesting that an exit of that nature could yet happen in the coming weeks.