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Opinion: Confirmed player setback means Blackburn Rovers simply must secure January deal for 25-year-old

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For Blackburn Rovers, you feel there was always going to be an emphasis on attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window.

After failing to replace last season’s top scorer Adam Armstrong following his move to Southampton during the summer transfer window, interest in Ben Brereton following his own impressive exploits for both club and country during the first half of this season now seems inevitable.

That in itself, already puts pressure on the club when it comes to their attackings options and source of goals heading into the January window.

However, even beyond that, recent events have now piled further pressure on Rovers when it comes to bringing in attacking reinforcements come the turn of the year.

Having been stretchered off during Rovers’ 1-1 draw at Bristol City on Saturday afternoon, it was confirmed on Tuesday that on-loan Leeds United winger Ian Poveda has suffered a fractured fibula and ankle ligament damage, a diagnosis that surely rules him out of a huge chunk of the rest of the season.

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For Poveda, that is a huge blow at a time when it looked like he was about to get the opportunity to prove what he can do with regular first-team football, after a stop start time with Leeds before that loan move to Ewood Park.

As for Blackburn, that setback means they are now left with even shorter on options in attack, with Poveda’s injury meaning that only Brereton, Sam Gallagher, Tyrhys Dolan and Reda Khadra have really shown themselves to be potential regular starters for the rest of the season.

Given Mowbray has started to operate with a three in attack system during the campaign, having just four options to fill those roles feels like a big risk, considering the possibility of injuries, as evidenced by Poveda’s recent blow.

Consequentially, it seems essential that Rovers add to their attacking options come the January window, and it seems they are already looking at candidates with which to do that.

According to reports from the Lancashire Telegraph that emerged in the wake of Poveda’s withdrawl on Saturday, Blackburn have been considering a move for Portsmouth winger Marcus Harness, and it is hard not to feel as though the 25-year-old could be an excellent signing for Blackburn, given their current circumstances.

Not only is Harness a player who could fill the void left by the stricken Poveda in Rovers’ squad, but with eight goals in 18 appearances in all competitions for Pompey this season – including three in his last three games – he is someone with the potential with the potential to make an impact in front of goal.

Given 24 of Blackburn’s 29 league goals this season have come from their attacking five of Brereton, Gallagher, Dolan, Khadra and Poveda, it seems that adding some extra goalscoring outlets will be crucial for Rovers, and Harness is someone who could seemingly offer that.

It is also worth noting that with Harness’ contract at Fratton Park set to expire at the end of this season, this could be a financially viable deal for Rovers.

Admittedly, Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has insisted his side are under no pressure to sell the winger in January, given he expects the club to trigger a 12-month extension to his contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.

But with the majority of the funds Rovers received from the sale of Armstrong still available to them after a summer window made up largely of loan signings, the Lancashire club may still feel they have the money available to make an offer that could test Pompey’s resolve here.

Add in the fact that at 25-years-old, Harness is approaching the peak years of his career, where he should be willing and ready to make an impact in the Championship, and this does seem to be just the sort of signing Rovers could benefit from moving forward.

Given the struggles they could with their attacking options, and consequentially with their results if they do not take advantage of that, it seems this could be a January deal, that proves crucial to the club’s prospects this 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: Confirmed player setback means Blackburn Rovers simply must secure January deal for 25-year-old

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