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Teammate’s situation puts further pressure on Blackburn Rovers over individual’s contract uncertainty: Opinion

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As Blackburn Rovers continue their pursuit of a Championship promotion place amid the backdrop of the January transfer window, concerns over the soon to be expired contracts of a number of key players continue to linger.

While Rovers do have the insurance of options to extend the deals of top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz and first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski by a further 12 months when their current contracts come to an end in the summer, that is not the case with midfielder Joe Rothwell, centre back Darragh Lenihan and right-back.

Consequentially, the club go into the transfer window knowing that it could be their last chance to receive a fee for one of those players, all of whom have impressed this season, and could therefore warrant interest from elsewhere in the coming weeks.

With all three playing key roles in Blackburn’s push for promotion over the past few months, losing any of the trio would be a major blow, but in the case of Nyambe, you feel that the situation around another of the club’s players, only adds to the pressure they face when it comes to the future of the Namibian international.

Since the start of this season, Joe Rankin-Costello has made just a single appearance for Rovers. That came after after seven months of recovering from a long injury lay-off with a broken foot, appearing as a substitute in the home game with Fulham back in November, that most of a Rovers persuasion would rather forget.

At that point, the sight of Rankin-Costello being back out on the pitch would have been the one positive that Blackburn could take from that game, given the ability he possesses, and extra option he offers to manager Tony Mowbray.

However, since that game, Rankin-Costello has now been hit by a further setback, suffering a hamstring strain shortly after his return to action in that clash with the Cottagers.

It has subsequently been revealed that Rovers are now taking what has been described as a long-term approach with their attempts to get Rankin-Costello up to match fitness, something that can hopefully put the 22-year-old’s recurring injury issues behind him once and for all.

While Rovers wait for that to happen however, it does mean that Nyambe is the only established and natural option they have to call upon at right-back.

As a result, it now seems as though Blackburn simply cannot afford to let Nyambe go in January, regardless of the implications that may have on his future come January.

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Not only would allowing the 24-year-old to leave next month mean they are losing a high quality and important player, but it would also mean they have no recognised option to turn to on the right-hand side of their defence.

That is something they are unlikely to want to have to deal with at a time when there are already areas of their squad that need strengthening, not least in attack, having been unable to sign a replacement for Adam Armstrong in attack last season.

Admttedly, Rovers could turn to John Buckley as a potential option at right-back, but doing so would both be a risk given his appearances in that position have been sporadic, and a blow in midfield, given how important his creativity and tenacity in the centre of the park have been in recent weeks.

Blackburn’s position in the table had already seemed to be enough to prove that the club may need to take a risk by keeping their out of contract stars beyond January.

Now though, the situation with Rankin-Costello on top of that, means that despite that contract uncertainty, Nyambe at least, is one that Rovers simply cannot afford to let go next month, for any number of reasons.


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.

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Article title: Teammate’s situation puts further pressure on Blackburn Rovers over individual’s contract uncertainty: Opinion

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