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Opinion: Blackburn Rovers have reasons to be optimistic in ambitious midfielder transfer pursuit

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It seems as though Blackburn Rovers may be thinking big in this summer’s transfer window.

According to reports that have emerged over the weekend, Jon Dahl Tomasson’s first transfer target since being appointed as the Ewood Park club’s new head coach, is a loan move for Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell.

Given the reputation and top-flight experience that Cantwell possesses, that does feel like an ambitious target for Rovers to be eyeing, especially given the sizeable aims the 24-year-old is likely to have set himself in his career.

Beyond that, with Cantwell now entering the final year of his contract with Norwich, this could be the Canries’ final chance to receive a fee for the midfielder.

That is something they will no doubt want to do given the quality that he possesses, meaning it could be challenging for Blackburn to agree a loan deal for the former England youth international.

However, despite those issues, a look at the context surrounding the deal, suggests that there is still reasons for the Ewood Park club to hold some optimism that they can get a deal done.

For starters, this would not be the first time that Blackburn have completed a loan deal for a Norwich player in recent years.

Back in the summer of 2020, Rovers were able to sign another midfielder, Tom Trybull, on loan from Norwich.

While the circumstances were different there, with Trybull not in the final year of his contract and Norwich a Premier League team at the time that deal was agreed, it does mean there is the foundations of a relationship that could be picked up again in negotiations for a deal here.

That is further enhanced by Blackburn’s recent appointment of Gregg Broughton, Norwich’s former Academy Manager, as their Sporting Director.

Not only does that enhance the link between the two clubs when it comes to negotiations over a potential deal, but the fact that Broughton held his role at Norwich at the time when the Cantwell was coming through the Canaries’ youth setup, could mean the prospect of a reunion there, will make a potential move to Ewood Park more appealing.

It should also be remebered that Rovers have enjoyed plenty of recent success with loanees, not least in Cantwell’s attacking midfield position with the likes of Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott and Reda Khadra of Brighton.

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Cantwell is likely to be aware of that, which could also make this a tempting destination for the 24-year-old, as he looks to kick-start a promising career that suddenly found itself drifting with Norwich last season.

Indeed, the midfielder also endured an underwhelming loan spell with AFC Bournemouth during the second half of last season, despite the Cherries sealing promotion from the Championship.

There may be an argument therefore that other clubs may be reluctant to make a move for Cantwell – Bournemouth themselves elected not to make his move permanent – meaning there may be less competition for Blackburn in pursuit of his services.

That is something that could also convince Norwich to agree to a loan move for Cantwell to Blackburn, if no alternative suitors emerge.

It seems therefore, that while a deal may not easy for Blackburn to do, and there can be no denying that there will be plenty of work to be done if it is to happen, there are plenty of reasons for those associated with the Ewood Park club to hold some belief, that we could see Cantwell at Ewood Park on a regular basis next season.


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: Opinion: Blackburn Rovers have reasons to be optimistic in ambitious midfielder transfer pursuit

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