This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand…
Well, here it is. The most exciting time of the year is once again upon us.
No, not Christmas, but the return of the transfer window, which is now less than a month away from reopening at the turn of the year in January.
As ever, just about every club you look to in the country is being linked with any number of players, and Blackburn Rovers are no different.
But while the expectation is there that the Ewood Park club are going to have to strengthen in the January sales if they are to achieve their aim of making a push for the Championship play-off places this season, it does seem as though their priorities are about to change.
According to recent reports emerging about the club’s January plans, Blackburn are taking an interest in two Scottish-based strikers, in the shape of Livingston’s Lyndon Dykes, and Ross County’s Ross Stewart.
The nature of that interest, means that it seems while Blackburn are still contemplating adding to their attacking options, it is not something they are intending to break the bank on.
Given the level that these Dykes and Stewart are playing at respectively, it is unlikely that this is either player is going to set Rovers back significantly when it comes to the transfer fees, and it feels like that is going a welcome diversion from the norm in the eyes of the club’s fans.
In each of the past two summer transfer windows, Blackburn have gone big when it has come to their attacking recruitment, with Ben Brereton arriving from Nottingham Forest for a reported £7million, and former loanee Sam Gallagher returning to Ewood Park from Southampton on a permanent basis for something thought to be in the region of around £5million.
That big spending in attack is something that appears to have come at the expense of long-term additions at the other end of the pitch, with the three defensive recruits brought in during this summer – Cardiff left-back Greg Cunningham, Manchester City centre back Tosin Adarabioyo, and Brighton goalkeeper Christian Walton – all joining the club on-loan.
With Cunningham now finding himself on the sidelines for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL at QPR at the start of October, and the departure of club captain Charlie Mulgrew on a season-long loan to Wigan – which seemed to catch everyone off-guard on the final day of the summer window – Rovers do seem to have found themselves somewhat short at the back.
The fact therefore, that those attacking options Rovers have been linked with are perhaps not what most would consider bank breakers, does suggest that the club may instead be planning to invest more at the other end of the pitch this time around.
Indeed, with Rovers already being linked to Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson in January, it does seem as though the issue of finding a long term replacement to summer departure David Raya is going to be addressed in January.
Furthermore, with Mowbray himself admitting that providing extra cover in that left-back spot following the loss of Cunningham, is another issue he wants to solve, it does seem as though some fresh attacking options are not exactly top of the pecking order when it comes to spending in January.
It seems therefore, that the addition of someone such as Dykes or Stewart may well fit the bill perfectly for Rovers, allowing them to add an extra attacking option to their ranks, without taking up the majority of the funds likely to be required to address those more pressing issues.
If that can be achieved, then there may well be a greater sense of balance about this side heading into the second half of the campaign, and that is something then can only give the hopes of making the top six held by those around Blackburn Rovers, another boost.