Blackburn Rovers are set to add to their defence in the coming days with the acquisition of Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Jan Paul van Hecke, according to The Argus.
Tony Mowbray revealed that he was considering dipping into the Premier League loan market once again for a centre-back after bringing both Jarrad Branthwaite and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in from Everton and Man City respectively last season.
This time though it is the Seagulls who are set to establish a connection with the Lancashire outfit, having already agreed to send winger Reda Khadra to Ewood Park when he recovers from an ankle injury.
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21-year-old Van Hecke joined Albion from NAC Breda last summer before immediately returning to Holland’s top flight on loan with Heerenveen, where he made 28 appearances in the Eredivisie.
The youngster is now set to continue his development in the north west of England and compete with the likes of Darragh Lenihan, Daniel Ayala and Hayden Carter for a place in Tony Mowbray’s first-team line-up.
Van Hecke has no experience of English football yet, but the fact he was a starting player for Heerenveen last season suggests he’s got more than enough about him to make an impact at Ewood Park.
A pairing of Lenihan and Ayala will be hard to split right now, but Mowbray has already used a back three system this season and more depth is needed because of that.
Another one of Van Hecke’s useful traits is that he can play at right-back as well – Hayden Carter has been filling in there in the last few matches but if Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rankin-Costello aren’t fit then it’s a position that the Dutchman is capable of playing.
It could represent another smart piece of business for Rovers and Ewood Park is quickly becoming a place where Premier League managers are eager to send young talents to improve as players.