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Opinion: Blackburn Rovers should consider demanding further player agreement with Brighton if club come calling for key man



With the January transfer window now almost upon us, it seems inevitable that Blackburn Rovers will have to field interest in Ben Brereton in the coming weeks.

Put simply, Brereton has been in sensational form for club and country since the start of this season, scoring 18 goals in 25 appearances for club and country.

That has inevitably led to plenty of interest in the 22-year-old, who considering the marketability of his remarkable emergence on the international stage for Chile this year, is an appealing asset both on and off the pitch.

Rovers therefore, will be thankful of their option to extend Brereton’s contract by a further 12 months, meaning they will not be at risk of losing him for free at the end of this season, even if they are unable to agree an long-term extension to his current deal.

It has therefore, been suggested that the Ewood Park club will demand somewhere in the region of £20million for Brereton as things stand.

For some clubs, that could be something of an issue with finances tight after the events of the past two years, especially given January generally sees less spending than a summer window.

However, it is possible that there is one club’s interest in Brereton that Blackburn could take advantage, to get some important business done themselves.

As exclusively revealed by Football League World, Brighton are one of several Premier League clubs who are currently keeping tabs on Brereton ahead of a potential move.

Were the Seagulls to follow up on their interest in the Blackburn striker, then you can’t help but wonder what impact that could have on the futures of potentially two others players.

Right now, winger Reda Khadra and centre back Jan Paul van Hecke are on loan at Blackburn from Brighton until the end of the season, which Rovers ought to ensure has a say in any negotiations with their parent club over a deal for Brereton.

Khadra’s match-winning strike in Rovers’ 1-0 win at Stoke on Saturday afternoon was his second goal in just four appearances, suggesting he is now starting to find his feet in the Championship.

Van Hecke meanwhile has, with the exception of one moment of madness that saw him sent off in that now infamous defeat to Fulham, been a solid presence in defence when called upon, while his evident passion and commitment to the cause should make him a popular figure at Ewood Park.

As a result, it could be argued that Rovers should be looking to make the loans of those two players permanent, as part of any deal that takes Brereton to the AMEX Stadium.

That is something they ought not to be opposed to, since a swap deal involving Michael Obafemi was heavily discussed when Adam Armstrong made the move to Southampton in the summer, and it would help to fill some important voids in their squad.

Having ultimately never replaced Armstrong during the summer, Blackburn would be badly short on attackers if Brereton moves on as well, so keeping one such as Khadra, who is starting to prove at this level, could be an appealing prospect.

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At the other end of the pitch, Rovers’ captain Darragh Lenihan is another who will be out of this summer, meaning a central defence is another area they may need to add to beyond this season, and van Hecke offers them an option there as well.

The fact that Rovers are already familiar with these players from these loan spells reduces some uncertainty around the signings, and the fact they already know the club could help convince Khadra and van Hecke about these potential moves.

It is also worth noting that this, to some extent at least, reduce the pressure on Rovers to go out and bring in replacements for players who could move on in the coming months, while given you imagine they would still expect some cash in return, there would be funds available for the club to go out and bring in other recruits as well.

Signing replacements is something they struggled with in the summer with 12 senior players leaving, and only six coming in – four on loan, which could mean a deal with this sort of make-up would be vital for Rovers and their squad moving forward.

For Brighton as well, including these two players in the deal would go some way to reducing the price they would have to pay for Brereton, which, as has already been mentioned, could certainly be useful in the current climate.

Indeed, with both Khadra and van Hecke also entering the final years of their contracts with Brighton next summer, it would also go some way to ensuring they at least get some sort of return for their investment in the duo, even if it is with money saved, rather than received.

Blackburn will of course, not want to let Brereton leave the club at all if possible, but if he is to move on, there will be different ways for them to sanction and respond to that departure.

This one at least, would ensure that Blackburn could suffer the blow of that exit, with some useful business of their own.

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 should consider demanding further player agreement with Brighton if club come calling for key man

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