Brighton intend to include Blackburn Rovers’ on-loan goalkeeper Christian Walton in their first-team plans for next season, a report from The Athletic has revealed.
Walton joined Rovers on a season-long loan back in the summer transfer window, and has gone on to play every minute of their league campaign so far, keeping 12 clean sheets to help Tony Mowbray’s side to tenth in the current Championship standings, three points adrift of the play-off places.
The 24-year-old has produced some impressive performances during that time, and it seems they have now caught the attention of those at his parent club.
According to the latest reports, Brighton have now decided that Walton is ready to challenge their current number one Mat Ryan for a place between the posts at the AMEX Stadium next season.
That is something that Walton has never done before, with the goalkeeper making just four appearances for the Seagulls since joining the club in 2013, instead experiencing a string of loan spells which included spending the last two years with Rovers’ Championship rivals Wigan, helping them win promotion from League One during the 2017/18 campaign.
There is currently just over a year remaining on Walton’s contract with Brighton, securing his future at the club until the end of next season.
This will be something of a source of disappointment for Rovers.
Following a somewhat nervy start to the season, Walton has improved as the campaign has gone, putting in some impressive performances to help Mowbray’s side mount a push for a play-off place.
As a result, you feel Rovers would have been keen on bringing him back to Ewood Park next season, something that now looks unlikely to happen, with Walton surely keen to try and prove himself in the Premier League with Brighton.
Indeed, with Rovers’ other senior ‘keeper, Jayson Leutwiler, out of contract at the end of the season, there will be plenty of pressure on the Lancashire club to add to their goalkeeping ranks in the summer transfer window.