It has been a good start to the 2021/22 season for Blackburn Rovers.
Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest means that Tony Mowbray’s side are still unbeaten in the league since the campaign began, having taken seven points from their three games so far.
During that time, there has already been plenty that has become clear about the Ewood Park club, as they look to push on during the rest of the campaign.
So here, we’ve taken a look at three things we’ve learnt about Blackburn Rovers since the season got underway.
Ben Brereton-Diaz has a big part to play
With last season’s 29-goal top scorer Adam Armstrong having left the club for Southampton this summer, finding someone to fill that void will be crucial for Rovers. But with no new attacker signed as yet, one player who may have to step up to take on that responsibility, is Ben Brereton-Diaz.
The attacker has already done just that by successfully taking on Armstrong’s role as penalty take in the opening day win at Swansea, and followed that up with an excellent header to equalise for Rovers in their draw with Millwall last weekend.
The 22-year-old is clearly and understandably brimming with confidence following his high profile exploits with Chile at this summer’s Copa America. Given that has led to some promising early season form in front of goal, Rovers will be hoping that continues for some time to come yet.
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Daniel Ayala could yet be worth the wait
Signed to much fanfare and expectation last summer, Daniel Ayala’s first season at Ewood Park can perhaps best be described as something of a flop, with fitness issues limiting the Spaniard to just ten appearances across the course of the campaign.
This time around though, it seems things could be rather different. The centre back has been a feature in Rovers’ defence in all three of their league games so far, where he has become a huge presence in keeping opposition attacks at bay, before topping that off with his first goal for the club in that win at Forest.
If the 30-year-old can maintain that sort of form and fitness throughout the rest of the campaign, then it seems that for all the frustration his issues generated last season, the investment that Blackburn have put in to him, could yet turn out to be rather profitable.
Reinforcements still badly needed
While Blackburn have been relatively successful on the pitch so far this season, you feel they are going to have to be busier on it in the final couple of weeks in the summer transfer window, if they are to continue in that way.
Armstrong’s departure made him the 12th senior player to leave Blackburn since the end of last season, with only young midfielder Leighton Clarkson, who has joined on loan from Liverpool, signed by the club. With several others still out through long-term injuries, that has been noticeable with the lack of experience on Rovers’ bench so far this season.
Indeed, Blackburn’s substitutes against Forest had an average age of just 20.7, with the oldest of those being Jacob Davenport at 23. Given injuries and suspensions will inevitably have an effect at some points this season, it therefore appears vital that Blackburn step up their recruitment drive in the coming days, to avoid being caught out by a lack of depth in several positions over the course of the campaign.