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Precedent set during the summer puts Blackburn Rovers in a strong position over inevitable January interest in key man: Opinion

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Put simply, Blackburn Rovers cannot afford to let Ben Brereton Diaz leave Ewood Park in the January transfer window if they are to have any chance of promotion this season.

Having scored 19 Championship goals this season – 14 more than any of his teammates in Tony Mowbray’s side – to help Rovers to third in the current table, the 22-year-old is undoubtedly having the season of his life.

That of course, looks certain to attract interest in the striker come next month’s transfer window, with Premier League duo Brighton and Leeds, as well as La Liga side Sevilla, all already credited with an interest in the attacker.

But given his importance to their side, Rovers will surely be desperate to keep him, which some may suggest could put them in a difficult position with regards to the striker’s come the end of the season.

As things stand, Blackburn will need to trigger a 12-month option in Brereton Diaz’s contract to prevent him leaving for free this summer, which may put them to pressure when it comes to negotiating any offers that come in.

Have Blackburn signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last five seasons?

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Liverpool?

However, you do not have to look that far back at all, to see that Rovers ought to be confident that should not be the case with regards to Brereton Diaz.

Back in the summer, after a season in which he had fired 28 league goals for Blackburn, Adam Armstrong was sold to Southampton, for a fee reported to be worth around £15million, despite the striker being in the final year of his contract.

The fact that Armstrong was sold for that fee, when he had just as long remaining on his deal as Brereton Diaz will in the summer, suggests Rovers should be confident of commanding a sizeable fee for the 22-year-old as well, should they find themselves having to sell him at that point.

Indeed, it could even be argued that come that point, they will be able to command a bigger fee for Brereton Diaz, than they did for Armstrong back in the summer.

For starters, having scored 19 goals in his 23 league games so far, Brereton Diaz is well on track to beat the spectacular tally that saw Armstrong attract so much interest and eventually depart for such a fee last season.

Beyond that, Brereton Diaz – as the name regularly reminds us – is, unlike Armstrong, an established senior international with Chile, something which could further add some value to his asking price.

The remarkable nature of the striker’s rise to international prominence with Chile, is also something of a marketing dream in terms of the interest he attracts from his adopted country, opening up a merchandising opportunity that could make this a rather profitable deal off the pitch as well as on it.

Furthermore, it is also worth noting that at 22-years-old, Brereton Diaz is two years younger than Armstrong, meaning clubs would have the opportunity to benefit from his talents for longer, and have a bigger window to sell him on further for a profit of their own.

All that means that having received such a fee for Armstrong in the final 12 months of his contract, they have a strong case to receive even more for Brereton Diaz when he reaches that stage of his own deal in several months time.

Beyond that, the fact that Blackburn paid significantly more to Nottingham Forest for the Chile international than they did to Newcastle for Armstrong, means that it is hard to see any sell-on clause due to their Championship rivals, being anywhere near as significant as the 40% received by the Magpies for the latter’s move to Southampton.

Consequentially, Rovers can still be optimistic that if they ultimately do have to sell Brereton Diaz in the summer, they can still earn a more than useful fee for him, that can in turn to be reinvested in strengthening their own squad.

You feel therefore, that Rovers ought not to be feeling too much pressure to sell Brereton Diaz in the coming weeks, regardless of the interest that many would expect to emerge in the 22-year-old.

Given the importance that he holds to the club’s hopes of a long awaited return to the Premier League this season, that should be a major relief for everyone associated with the Ewood Park club.


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: Precedent set during the summer puts Blackburn Rovers in a strong position over inevitable January interest in key man: Opinion

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