Daniel Ayala’s latest injury blow is sure to have put a lot of people on edge at Blackburn Rovers.
The Spaniard was substituted with just under half hour on the clock during the game against Peterborough United at Ewood Park last night, meaning that he has sustained yet another fitness setback since he joined the club in the summer of last year.
As a result of this, Rovers are once again scraping the barrel for defensive options, with Tony Mowbray even having to utilise midfielder Bradley Johnson as a makeshift centre back in last night’s victory due to there being no adequate natural back up available on the bench.
Yet another setback in the fitness department could well be the final straw for the Lancashire side, especially as the January transfer window begins to come into view.
Like many Football League clubs up and down the country, Blackburn are sure to be eyeing some mid-season moves in order to add to their talented squad, with the defence clearly being a key area that needs further depth adding to it.
One name that has already been mentioned in some quarters as a target for Rovers is Hearts centre back John Souttar, with it having been reported that the four time Scotland intentional is on the club’s radar.
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Also a target for the likes of Stoke City and Middlesbrough, Souttar has developed a strong pedigree for being an excellent ball playing defender who also enjoys the physical side of the game.
The 25-year-old is also said to be especially keen on pursuing a new challenge within English football after spending the entirety of his career to date north of the border and does appear to be an option that would be ideal for Backburn to pursue.
His contractual situation makes him an attractive addition as he has almost six months left to run on a deal which is set to expire in the summer of next year, meaning that Mowbray’s men may be able to snare him away from Tynecastle on the cheap this coming winter.
Indeed with the situation over Ayala’s fitness being currently unclear, Rovers could now accelerate their interest in the player in order to beat off competition from the other aforementioned suitors.
Not only is this a necessary signing but it is also one that would send out quite a bit of a statement to the rest of the division given the pedigree of clubs that are linked with Souttar.
In short Rovers could pull off a real coup if they brought in the Scot come January and now they must be really considering a move after their latest fitness setback.