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‘Always potential’ – EFL boss issues verdict on player exits as Leeds and West Ham circle

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Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray has suggested that there is “always potential” for January departures with Leeds United and West Ham United reportedly eyeing two of his players. 

As per the Sky Sports transfer centre (14/01, 11:24am), Rovers playmaker John Buckley was on the Whites’ radar while a fresh report from the Evening Standard has revealed that West Ham are tracking in-form striker Ben Brereton Diaz with a view to a January move.

Both players have been integral to Blackburn’s promotion push this season, helping them climb to third in the table after 25 games.

Speaking in Thursday’s press conference ahead of his side’s game against Cardiff City, Mowbray addressed the subject of player departures this month.

He said (via Leeds Live): “There’s always potential. I’m just dealing with the reality.

“I work closely with Steve (Waggott), Suhail (Pasha) and Mark (Venus) and we’ll try and do the right thing for the club and try and make the tough decisions if they have to be made.

“There’s the balance and conundrum for the support base.

“Do you keep this team together knowing that you’re going to lose three or four potentially in the summer or do you cash in with the awareness that you’re going to use that money and reinvest it back in and hope you can improve the team.

“Because once you get to the summer and you lose some very key footballers, without any extra money to replace them, the team isn’t going to get stronger it’s going to get worse.”

According to The Mirror’s David Anderson, Leeds want to sign at least one new midfielder this month.

Buckley, whose energy and technical ability have been key to his success this term, could be a good fit under Marcelo Bielsa.

Brereton Diaz, meanwhile, has scored 20 goals in 25 Championship games this season and it’s clear to see why the Hammers would be interested as they’re understood to be keen to sign a striker this month.

Can you name which club Blackburn Rovers signed these 28 defenders from?

1 of 28

Tayo Edun?

The Verdict

Mowbray’s comments should offer some hope to both Leeds and West Ham as he’s left the door open to potential departures.

Clearly, the Rovers boss will want to keep his squad together as they push for promotion to the Premier League but he will have to be realistic – particularly if significant offers are made.

Losing either Buckley or Brereton Diaz would be a real blow to their hopes of going up this term but if the money is there, cashing in could help strengthen the squad moving forward.

Supporters will be hoping that if offers are made, they’re rejected by the Ewood Park outfit but you feel it could be a nervy last few weeks of the window.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Always potential’ – EFL boss issues verdict on player exits as Leeds and West Ham circle

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