As the summer approaches and transfer window gets ready to open again, the time has come for many clubs to start making plans for players to bring in and those to let go, although it is so often the case that one club’s transfers will depend on transfers of another, and in Blackburn’s case, that is no different when it comes to one of their key players this season.
Since joining on a season long loan from Southampton in the summer, Harrison Reed has established himself as a vital cog of the Rovers side that has in the end quite comfortably earned survival in their first season back in the second tier, following immediate promotion from League One last season.
Reed has made 33 league appearances this season for Rovers, finding the net on three occasions and putting in some standout performances in the centre of the park for Tony Mowbray’s side.
Up until recently, it had seemed that Reed’s time at Rovers would be limited to just a single season, with new Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl reportedly keen to take a look at the midfielder before deciding on his future. That however, may no longer be the case.
According to the Sun on Sunday (print edition, Sunday 14th April 2019), the Premier League side are considering a £20million move for Leeds holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips when the transfer window reopens.
That could give Rovers the opportunity to extend their own midfielder’s stay at Ewood Park beyond the end of the season, providing they move quickly.
If Southampton are to snare Phillips in the summer, then that could spell the end of Reed’s time at St Mary’s, with the Saints both well stocked in the 25-year-old loanee’s position, and needing to recoup some of that £20million fee.
Having demonstrated his undoubted ability at Championship level in back to back seasons on loan in the division – with Norwich last campaign and at Ewood Park this season – Reed will surely be in high demand among Championship clubs should he become available.
Rovers therefore will need to take advantage of Reed’s experience in Lancashire this season, with the 25-year-old admitting he has enjoyed his time at the club this season, where he has demonstrated his versatility playing both deeper in the defence, and more often in an attacking position on the right of midfield.
With Southampton potentially looking to make back a chunk of the significant fee they are said to be preparing for Phillips, and Blackburn’s hierarchy potentially wary of throwing money into the market following the lack of success of Ben Brereton, this may be a difficult move to pull off for the Lancashire side.
Having seen Reed in action however, Mowbray has all the evidence he needs to show the board that the midfielder is a signing worth pursuing, and with his ability to play in a range of positions potentially reducing the need to spend on other areas of the squad, Rovers must be ready to take advantage of any big spending made by Southampton in the summer.