Leighton Clarkson joined Blackburn Rovers on a season-long loan from Liverpool on Monday and is aiming to replicate the impact Harvey Elliott had at Ewood Park last term, he told the club’s website this afternoon.
The versatile defensive midfielder is keen to hit the ground running under Tony Mowbray having had a small taste of men’s football in the last couple of seasons.
This is Clarkson’s first loan spell, having made three competitive appearances for the Liverpool first team, coming in the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League. It will be interesting to see how the Blackburn-born 19-year-old adjusts to the frantic nature of Championship football.
He said: “The fact that I’m born here and this is my club, he (Elliott) said ‘you’ll just go and smash it’ and hopefully that’s what I’ll do.
“We’re different players, positionally, but he was brilliant last season. I watched most games and I spoke to him after a lot of games. He got a lot of assists, but I just want the team to do well and push higher up the table from what we have in recent years.”
Rovers have started the season well with four points from their opening two games, Clarkson should slot in well as the fourth U23 player in the club’s midfield ranks.
Clarkson has struck the right notes with the Rovers fanbase in his words by establishing that he is a local lad, usually guaranteeing a bit more patience from the stands with the supporters seeing him as one of their own despite only being a loan player.
The success of Harvey Elliott’s loan spell at the club has clearly worked in Rovers’ favour here, demonstrating to the Reds and Jurgen Klopp that they can be trusted to develop his younger players and give them valuable minutes and experiences at second tier level.
The positive start has given Blackburn supporters reasons to be optimistic about a potential top six push with timely performances taking their minds away from the loss of 2020/21 top scorer Adam Armstrong.