Former Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Michael Dawson believes Ben Brereton Diaz will only improve further if he is given the opportunity to play in the Premier League, also hinting his current side Blackburn Rovers may be willing to cash in as he spoke to the Daily Express.
The Chilean international has established himself as one of the most formidable forwards in the Championship alongside Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic this season, scoring 17 goals in 22 league matches this term for the Lancashire club and stepping up admirably in the absence of Adam Armstrong and Harvey Elliott.
Brereton Diaz had formed a formidable partnership with the latter duo last term as one of the most threatening sides going forward in the second tier, though his progress may have been stifled by the 28-goal forward and ex-Liverpool loanee stealing the headlines as he recorded seven goals and five assists in the Championship during the 2020/21 campaign.
Quiz: Have Blackburn Rovers signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
However, he has stepped up extremely well to become the main man at Ewood Park, richly benefitting from this status and his exploits with Chile in the Copa America during the summer as a hero for club and country.
With this, multiple sides including Sevilla, Brighton and Leeds United are all reported to be interested in his signature ahead of the January transfer window, with his contract in Lancashire due to expire next summer but Blackburn having the option to trigger an automatic extension.
This option has made his future uncertain – but one man that thinks he would profit from playing top-flight football is ex-England international Dawson – who believes he could be on his way out of Ewood Park if club’s meet the Chilean’s side’s valuation.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Express, he said: “He can only get better and can only learn if he gets an opportunity in the Premier League.
“He’s lightning-quick but he’s now bringing other things like heading to his game.
“He’s a big, physical boy and he has to make sure he uses his strength if he does make that step up.
“But Blackburn, with the position they’re in they won’t want to lose him. However, money talks, and we’ll see what happens.”
It remains to be seen how seamlessly he can make the step up to the top tier after spending so long in the Championship with the likes of Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers – and in the end – this adaptability could be crucial in terms of how successful he goes on to be.
Scoring freely in the second tier doesn’t always mean you automatically thrive in the Premier League, something Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle has often proven, but he certainly has plenty of room for improvement at 22.
This is why he’s likely to be a big success in a higher tier, but he does need to be managed carefully and advised in the best possible way to maximise his potential – and after finally managing to fully settle under Tony Mowbray – it feels as though he would benefit from remaining at Blackburn for the remainder of the season.
Joining another club in January could be unsettling with no pre-season to iron out mistakes and adapt to a higher level, so even though he may not get a better chance to ply his trade at a top level, he will no doubt receive more interest if he can continue to prove his worth.
Consistency is key and after performing admirably throughout the first half of the 2021/22 campaign, this is something he is showing. His goalscoring form may tail off slightly towards the business end, but this is expected considering his current scoring rate is nothing short of ridiculous.