Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has hinted that young Dan Butterworth could get a chance to start against Luton Town this weekend after the club failed to bring in a new striker on transfer deadline day.
Rovers were seeking an Adam Armstrong replacement for a number of weeks following his departure to Premier League outfit Southampton, with Michael Obafemi from the same club a big target.
The Republic of Ireland international went to Swansea City though and despite having other irons in the fire, Mowbray could not get a replacement for Armstrong in at Ewood Park before the window slammed shut.
It means that unless Blackburn find a free agent that suits their needs, Sam Gallagher is the only real senior out-and-out striker with Ben Brereton Diaz becoming more of an left winger who cuts inside in recent times.
They do have young deputies though in the form of Jack Vale and Daniel Butterworth – the latter being a 21-year-old who has been at Rovers for a number of years.
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Butterworth has gone through injury issues in recent years but he’s very much in Mowbray’s plans this season, appearing twice from the bench already in the Championship and with the lack of striker coming in at Ewood Park last month, the manager has hinted that Butterworth could start against the Hatters.
“For reasons other than financial, these deals didn’t happen,” Mowbray said of his striker targets, per the Lancashire Telegraph.
“It was a frustrating day, a frustrating night, because I felt we were going in the right direction and the team was going to be so much stronger.
“You never know how signings are going to pan out, the bottom line is that you hope some of the lads we’ve got in the club become big stars for our football team and let’s hope Butterworth plays at the weekend and bangs in a hat-trick and everyone is talking about him.
“He’s got the talent, the desire, and things just have to break his way.”
With Brereton Diaz expected to miss the next two games as Blackburn wouldn’t release him for international duty with Chile, a gap has opened up in the team that needs to be filled.
The likes of Tyrhys Dolan and Reda Khadra obviously come into consideration but with Mowbray not averse to using Sam Gallagher as a wide player in recent times, Butterworth could come in for his first league start up-top.
He’s scored plenty of goals in the under-18’s and under-23’s over the years and he clearly has ability – he’s just struggled with injuries.
The way Mowbray has spoke about Butterworth suggests that he may get his opportunity at the weekend and he will need to grasp it with both hands – if he does then Rovers’ Armstrong replacement may have been at the club all along.