It’s safe to say that it’s been a frustrating season so far for Blackburn Rovers, with the pressure starting to grow on Tony Mowbray from some sections of the Ewood Park faithful.
The Lancashire-based club are sat 18th in the Championship table, and a recent slump in form has seen them drop down the second tier at an alarming rate as we approach the festive period.
The 25-year-old has recently returned from a spell in the treatment room though, and has looked sharp in front of goal for Rovers’ under-23’s side, which will be pleasing to see for Tony Mowbray.
Samuel will be keen to make up for lost time when he does return to the first team picture, and the hectic festive period could be the perfect opportunity for the forward to showcase his talent to Mowbray and the club’s supporters.
In our latest FLW Spotlight, we look into Samuel’s statistics from last year’s campaign in more detail, and look into whether he has a point to prove with Blackburn this season.
Samuel’s statistics have to be taken ‘with a pinch of salt’ here as he rarely featured due to a number of frustrating injuries that kept him sidelined for much of last year’s campaign.
The former Reading striker featured in just 308 minutes of action in total, which included some of their friendlies during pre-season.
His only goal in that season came against Everton in a pre-season friendly, and he struggled to build on that impressive performance at Ewood Park.
Samuel made just two league appearances that season, both of which came from the substitutes bench for Rovers, so it’s understandable that he couldn’t quite make a notable impact on the game.
One statistic that doesn’t make for good reading though is the number of duels that Samuel won during last year’s campaign, with the striker only winning 31 out of his 106 duels in total.
Danny Graham and Sam Gallagher are known for their hold-up play and are likely to be better options for Tony Mowbray’s side for the remainder of the season.
But Samuel has been getting in the right positions though, with the 25-year-old having six touches in the opposition box, which is something he’ll be keen to build on as the season heads into the potentially season-defining festive period.
He’s not been shy of having shots either, with the forward attempting seven shots, although just two were on target when he featured last season which won’t fill the club’s supporters with much confidence in his ability.
Samuel faces a tough ask if he’s going to be featuring for Blackburn on a consistent basis, and he’ll have to remain patient for his next opportunity in the first team.
But for now, he’ll have to continue to impress for the club’s Under-23’s side, and will have to take whatever opportunity comes his way in Tony Mowbray’s plans when presented with it.