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Opinion: Blackburn Rovers should look to 28-year-old free agent

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It has been a frustrating summer so far for Blackburn Rovers in their search for central defensive reinforcements.

With captain Darragh Lenihan having moved on to Middlesbrough following the expiry of his contract, and 2021/22 Player of the Year Jan Paul van Hecke now back at Brighton after an excellent loan spell at Ewood Park, Rovers are now badly short on options in their backline.

High profile targets such as Anel Ahmedhodzic and Ben Davies have both been linked, but have instead joined Sheffield United and Rangers respectively.

As a result, Rovers are still yet to add to their central defensive ranks, and with the start of the new season now less than two days, the pressure is growing on them to do just that.

However, there are still plenty of options out there for the Lancashire club to target as they look to fill those gaps in there defence, and one that is surely worth considering, is Yoann Barbet.

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Having left QPR earlier this summer following the expiry of his contract at Loftus Road earlier this summer, Barbet is currently a free agent.

That of course means that the 29-year-old is available on a free transfer, which does make this a deal that should be affordable from a financial perspective, and beyond that, there are plenty more reasons this could be a signing worth targeting for Blackburn.

Having spent the last seven years of his career with Brentford and QPR, the Frenchman has amassed well over 200 Championship appearances in his career.

It appears as though players with experience of this level are on the agenda for Rovers this summer, so Barbet certainly fits the bill in that respect, and at 29, he should still have plenty of time left to make an impression in the second-tier for Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side.

Indeed, Barbet has been a consistently reliable defender throughout his time at this level, and that knowledge of the division could also be useful in helping any of the long list of young defenders attempting to make their way in senior football at Ewood Park.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that as a right-footer, Barbet could be well suited to play on the right side of central defensive pair or trio.

Given that was the role larely filled by Lenihan last season, that could make the 29-year-old the ideal candidate for Rovers to target in that respect as well, especially considering the way in which Scott Wharton nailed down his own spot on the left of the club’s defensive set-up during the previous campaign.

Considering the fact that Barbet’s experience and ability at this level mean that he should be an attractive target for a number of clubs this summer, this could also be seen as something of a coup for Rovers, and a welcome statement of intent in what has so far been a quiet summer transfer window in terms of incomings at Ewood Park.

With that in mind, it could be argued that in what has been a summer of frustration around the centre back positions at Blackburn, a move for Barbet could go some way to easing that tension.


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 look to 28-year-old free agent

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