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Tony Mowbray details interesting opinion on Blackburn Rovers player’s surprising emergence

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Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has claimed Ben Brereton Diaz has matured rather than improved this season as a key reason for his successful campaign thus far, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph last night after his side’s victory against Barnsley.

With the score tied at 1-1 at the interval between Rovers and the Tykes, Ben Brereton Diaz popped up midway through the second half to fire the ball across Brad Collins and into the net to secure a crucial three points for Mowbray’s men in their quest to push for an automatic promotion spot.

Not only did this goal allow them to go level on points with second-placed side Fulham, but it took the 22-year-old’s league goal tally up to 20 for the season in just 24 appearances, an exceptional total that has taken him within two of the Championship’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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Although he did play his part in establishing the Lancashire outfit as one of the more threatening attacking sides in the division last term, recording 12 goal contributions in 40 matches, he was overshadowed by Adam Armstrong and Harvey Elliott, who were both vital figures for Mowbray’s side.

But after playing for Chile in the summer during the Copa America, this has seemingly been the catalyst for his meteoric rise, being able to take on the title of being the club’s main man up top and filling the void left by Armstrong and Elliott expertly.

After yesterday evening’s game, Mowbray provided an insight into why the forward has been such a revelation this season after struggling at the start of his career at Ewood Park, following his £7m move from Nottingham Forest.

He said to the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think he’s matured rather than improved. He’s always had talent.

“I can handle the criticism of the first two years. We had Danny Graham and Bradley Dack starring for the team and he came as a young boy.

“He was bought for the money he was because of the talent he has, and what’s happened is the external pressures of being in a dressing room with senior players and people with great careers and with huge personalities, as they have left the dressing room, generally because they have got to an age where their contracts have expired and we haven’t given them new ones, as he’s grown from 18 to 22 he’s just matured into a man and he’s a big personality in the dressing room.

“He’s a wonderful footballer but a wonderful human being first, he loves all the lads.

“He’s a funny character, he was playing head tennis the other day in his briefs and looked like Tarzan, laughing and joking and it’s great to see how his personality has grown.

“The external pressure of living up to the price-tag have been shed. He had the confidence of going away and playing for his mother’s native country and has done exceptionally well.”

The Verdict:

Confidence seems to have made all the difference with Brereton Diaz and that should be an inspiration to others, because he’s always had the potential to go on and become a star and that was evident from his days at Forest.

This change in his mental state has made a huge positive impact on him – and it remains to be seen whether that change happened between the end of last season and the start of Copa America or not, because he hit the ground running with La Roja.

Settling back into life in Blackburn well at the start of the season and thriving with his teammates at Ewood Park, it would now be a bit of a risk for him to move on in January, facing the prospect of needing to move to a new location as well as working with a different manager, players and playing in front of a fresh set of fans.

That could prove to be unsettling if he makes a mid-season move and this may dent his confidence, so he would be well-served remaining in Lancashire for the remainder of the campaign before he reassesses his future in the summer.

He’s likely to get plenty more opportunities to score in the second half of this term – and with Blackburn likely to trigger an extension in his contract at the end of 2021/22 – there’s no reason for him to rush as he weighs up his next steps.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Tony Mowbray details interesting opinion on Blackburn Rovers player’s surprising emergence

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