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‘Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembele, and Victor Wanyama’ – Tony Mowbray tips ex-Celtic man to give Blackburn transfer market boost

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Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray has claimed new head of recruitment John Park will be a “big benefit” for the North West club. 

Park took up the role at Ewood Park back in July but fans are yet to see his impact with no new signings arriving this summer despite multiple departures.

It appears that is about to change as Mowbray revealed after yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Millwall at The Den that he was expecting new arrivals soon.

“I know that on Monday there is definitely one coming in,” the Rovers boss explained. “He needs to sign his forms and pass the medical etc. We’ll definitely have one in on Monday and we’re pretty close with some others really.”

During Park’s nine-year Celtic tenure, the Scottish giants made some hugely impressive signings – including a number of players that would go on to be Premier League stars – and Mowbray made it clear that he feels he can have a positive impact for Blackburn.

He said: “John’s a workaholic really. Listen, he’s a proven quality. I shouldn’t have to sit here and tell you but I will – Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembele, and Victor Wanyama all players who arrived at Celtic during John’s tenure there.

“John’s got a really good eye for a footballer and you add that to the workaholic factor. He never stops, he never shuts up, sometimes I wish he wouldn’t phone me. Goodness me John give us a break.

“He seems to know everyone. Every football club in the world somebody knows John Park and so he will be a big benefit for us.”

He added: “If anything at the moment it’s about trying to pick the ones that are trying to help our team.”

“We have a way we want to play and you try to put the pieces in the jigsaw that fit the way we play. There are hundreds of players out there available and their agents phone us every day. Will you take him? Will you take him? Will you take him?

“It’s just trying to fit the right ones in that will help our team as we move forward. I’m sure that will happen, I’m sure we will be able to add over the next fortnight. Not to replace anybody but to help this young team progress.

“When we need to make changes, as in the Championship we have to because you have to play every three days at some stages, we’ll hopefully get stronger.”

“We have to do that and we will be doing that.”

Replacing Adam Armstrong, who moved to Southampton last week on the back of a 2020/21 campaign that saw him score 29 goals and win the PFA Championship Player of the Year award, may well be high on Park’s list but the striker’s departure should at least give the club some more money to spend.

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The Verdict

There’s no arguing with Park’s record and given the players he brought to Celtic, you’d have to agree with Mowbray that he’s an excellent judge of a footballer.

That should excite Blackburn fans but they’ll know that their club don’t have the same sort of financial might that the Bhoys do, meaning the head of recruitment looks to have a more difficult job at Ewood Park.

Even so, it seems a new recruit is now close and more could follow before the end of the window.

The Blackburn squad looks in desperate need of some reinforcements as while yesterday’s game showed they’re capable of scrapping out results, they did ride their luck against Millwall.

New signings could be just the momentum boost needed to continue what has been a relatively strong start to the season.


Bristol-born, London-based sports journalist at Snack Media. University of Brighton and NA graduate

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Virgil van Dijk, Moussa Dembele, and Victor Wanyama’ – Tony Mowbray tips ex-Celtic man to give Blackburn transfer market boost

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