After the departures of Stewart Downing, Corry Evans and Lewis Holtby in the summer, it’s clear Blackburn Rovers need one or two central midfield players to come in before the start of the season to strengthen their side.
All three left for nothing this month on the expiry of their deals and with a limited amount of money to spend at Ewood Park and any fresh faces yet to come in, it will be interesting to see how many people they can bring in before the end of August and the calibre of players they manage to attract as they face their fourth consecutive season in the second tier.
As things stand with 28-goal striker Adam Armstrong still at the club, their central midfield area is one they will be focusing on.
But after losing out on previous target Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, who U-turned earlier this week and signed a new contract with Luton Town, they will be looking at alternatives with the new league season just a couple of weeks away.
One player who is still without a club is 28-year-old Muhamed Besic, who was released by Premier League side Everton in the summer after spending seven years at the club.
On a free transfer with no other clubs seeming to be closing in on him, Besic could be a major coup for Tony Mowbray’s side, especially if a reasonable wage package can be negotiated with the former Premier League footballer. If he’s keen to remain in England, this could possibly happen.
Although the salary offered by the Lancashire side is likely to be lower than that offered by the Merseyside club in 2014 when he joined the Toffees, the 28-year-old is probably desperate to showcase what he can do after only playing a limited amount of football in his career thus far and may perform better if he can find a permanent home.
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However, he has already made 54 appearances in the Championship including two in the play-off semi-finals for Middlesbrough in 2018, something that will enable the Bosnian to adapt to second-tier football quickly if he makes the move to Ewood Park.
Let’s examine a couple more reasons why Blackburn would be wise in signing the free agent.
Firstly, Rovers may want to bring in more than one central midfielder after losing multiple for nothing in the last couple of months and if they wish to do this, they may need to refrain from spending on transfer fees.
As well as this, they are unlikely to receive a huge cash boost until later on in the window if Armstrong does eventually move on this summer, as the Lancashire outfit continue to play hardball with his price after rejecting Southampton’s opening bid.
And if they can bring Besic in, they could spend a great proportion of the potential capital received for the 24-year-old forward on his replacement, something manager Mowbray will be keen to do if 28-goal Armstrong moves on because that’s a major void to fill.
Timing is the final reason why they should aim to bring the Bosnian in. With Besic out of contract and Blackburn able to avoid the need to negotiate a transfer fee, they may be able to get this deal done a lot quicker.
The season is just a couple of weeks away, so they need to get a shift on. Getting the 28-year-old on board would be a great start.