For Harry Chapman, things have never quite got going at Blackburn Rovers.
Having initially joined Blackburn on loan from Middlesbrough for the club’s League One promotion winning campaign, the winger was dogged by injuries that restricted him to just 16 appearances across the course of that 2017/18 season.
Never the less, some eye-catching and exciting performances were enough to secure Chapman a permanent return to Ewood Park, albeit he had to wait until January 2019 for that.
Since then, it has been another story of frustration for Chapman, who having failed to start a single league game in two years after his return to Lancashire, was loaned out to Shrewsbury Town for the final few months of his Blackburn contract in January 2021.
But after much uncertainty around his future, and with just remaining until his deal at Ewood Park officially expired, it was announced on Tuesday that Chapman has now put pen to paper on a new one-year deal with Rovers, securing his future with the club until the end of the 2021/22 season.
It feels therefore, as though this is Chapman’s final chance to make his mark in the Blue and White halves, and in fairness, the circumstances he goes into the campaign on the back of, give him a better chance to do that than at any other points in his Blackburn Rovers career.
As has already been mentioned, Chapman was dogged by injuries during his loan spell at Ewood Park, which prevented him from really standing out as much as he could have done in that campaign.
Then, when he returned to Rovers in January 2019, it came midway through a season where he had up until that point, made just four senior appearances, only one of which had been as a starter, and none of which had been in the Championship.
As a result of that, and some lingering injury issues, it wasn’t until the final two games of that 2018/19 season that Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray was willing to use Chapman even off the bench.
Since then, it has been a similar story for Chapman, with the winger having never really been given the opportunity to enjoy a run in the side, while even when he has been brought off the bench, he hasn’t always managed to convince.
However, there is a chance that that aforementioned spell at Shrewsbury earlier this year, could help to change all of that.
During his time on loan with Shrewsbury, Chapman was able to make a significant impact, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in 23 league appearances for the League One club.
The fact that he will be coming into the new campaign on the back of that sort of form, and the match fitness he ought to be carrying, Chapman now ought to be better prepared than ever to try and make his mark on this Rovers side.
Indeed, with Harvey Elliott’s loan deal from Liverpool now over, and the potential departure of Adam Armstrong meaning Rovers may need to play one of both of Ben Brereton and Sam Gallagher more centrally, it could certainly be argued that there may be more opportunities for Chapman on the flanks next season.
It seems therefore, that after several years of false starts, things are finally starting to fall into place for Chapman to really sparkle at Ewood Park.
Given the nature of this new contract, you feel that is an opportunity that the player affectionately known as a starman around the club, simply has to take.