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Four Blackburn Rovers players that face an uncertain January



Blackburn Rovers will look to continue their impressive recent run on Wednesday night, when they travel to Wales to take on Swansea City.

A win at the Liberty Stadium would be a fifth in a row for Rovers, and underline their potential as top-six challengers this season.

Interestingly, this recent positive run has coincided with a more settled Blackburn side, with manager Tony Mowbray naming an unchanged side for the third game in a row for only the third time since arriving at the club in February 2017 during their 1-0 win over Derby on Saturday.

That does however mean that opportunities have been limited for certain other members of the squad, who may now find themselves weighing up their options elsewhere in their search for game time, not least with the January transfer window on the horizon.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at four current Blackburn players who could find themselves bidding farewell to Ewood Park come the turn of the year.

Richie Smallwood

A league ever-present during his debut campaign at Blackburn as they won promotion from League One at the first time of asking during the 2017/18 season, Smallwood gradually found himself slipping down the pecking order following their return to the Championship last year.

This season, things have got even harder for the central midfielder, whose only first-team appearances have come in the League Cup, with his other outings restricted to Under 23s football.

Smallwood will surely be desperate to get back to playing more regularly as soon as possible, meaning he has to be considering a move away in January, something Rovers could well be open to, given they will want to receive some sort of fee for him before he is free to walk away for nothing when his contract expires in the summer.

Harry Chapman

Since rejoining Blackburn from Middlesbrough on a permanent deal in January, playing opportunities have not exactly been forthcoming for Chapman.

The winger has made just three appearances for Rovers’ first-team, and only one of those – as a substitute in the first round of the League Cup against League Two Oldham – has come this season.

Speaking about Chapman a month ago, Mowbray revealed that the 22-year-old will get opportunities for the senior side before a decision is taken on whether or not to send him out on loan in January to give him more regular playing time.

With those chances yet to come however, it seems as though a decision on just will happen with Chapman come the turn of the year, is still yet to be made, meaning the player himself, is unlikely to be any the wiser.

Dominic Samuel

Following a year out of action after rupturing his ACL in August 2018, Samuel’s return to the Blackburn side this season has once again been hampered by injuries.

That has restricted him to just two substitute appearances so far this season, although the attacker has been in prolific form for the club’s Under 23s as he looks to get back to full fitness.

A January loan move away to allow him to readjust to the pace and pressure of first-team football could therefore benefit Samuel, but with Mowbray insisting that the interest will have to come to Rovers – rather than the club going out to look for a temporary club for him – means Samuel’s short term future feels very much uncertain as he waits to see whether or not any potential suitors emerge.

With his contract at Ewood Park set to expire at the end of the season, getting the chance to impress elsewhere in the second half of the season could be crucial to Samuel’s long term future as well.

Ben Gladwin

Another Blackburn player to have been frustrated by injuries over the past few years is Ben Gladwin, with the midfielder’s last senior appearance for the club coming way back in November 2017.

Having been handed a new short term deal with the club until January when his old contract expired at the end of last season, it looks as though the new year could be more important to Gladwin than most as he looks to earn a new contract either with Blackburn or elsewhere in order to extend his time in football.

With Gladwin having made a handful of appearances for Rovers’ Under 23s recently as he continues that return to full fitness, he has at least been given something of a chance to prove to the club that he is worthy of a new deal going forward.

Whether or not he has done enough to be successful with that however, remains to be seen.

UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Four Blackburn Rovers players that face an uncertain January

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