Following a solid first season back in the Championship, the summer transfer window is now set to prove crucial for Blackburn Rovers if they are to push on from that promising return to the second tier in the coming campaign.
Like all clubs, Rovers are being linked with their fair share of players, and the latest is a familiar face in the shape of Norwich defender Grant Hanley, as reported by Sun journalist Alan Nixon, who claims a loan deal for the Scotsman is possible.
There are a number of points to consider with this link, so we’ve taken a more in depth look at it in our latest Six Point Opinion.
Firstly, what’s Hanley’s current situation at Norwich?
“It was a difficult campaign for Hanley last season.
“The defender made just nine league appearances for Norwich last season as they sealed promotion to the Premier League.
“Hanley has four years remaining on his current deal at Carrow Road, and while Rovers may not be in a position to buy right now, a loan deal could be an option.”
Would Norwich be open to such a deal?
“You would think so.
“Hanley wasn’t a regular at Carrow Road last season, so you can’t imagine him suddenly returning to the squad when they make the step up to the Premier League.
“Norwich will also want to make strength in their squad and wage bill for new signings, so this is a move that could suit the Canaries.”
Would this be a good signing for Blackburn?
“This would be a big signing for Rovers.
“Defence was a big problem for Tony Mowbray’s side last season – no side conceded more goals away from home – so bringing in a player with Hanley’s experience and solidity would go some way to fixing that problem you feel.
“Even without that issue, Rovers are short on numbers in defence currently, so this is definitely an area where they need to strengthen in the summer.”
What would Rovers fans make of the move?
“This would be a popular signing at Ewood Park.
“Hanley was a popular figure among Rovers fans during his first spell at the club, making some 200 appearances for the club.
“The defender therefore would be welcomed back with open arms, particularly if he can produce the type of performances he did during his first spell.”
Would Hanley himself be open to the move?
“You would have thought so.
“The Scotsman will likely be a regular starter if he returns to Ewood Park, and that may appeal to him more than sitting on the sidelines at Norwich, even if it does mean remaining in the Championship.
“The fact that Hanley already knows the club and has an affiliation with its fans is also likely to give Rovers a boost in their pursuit of the centre back.”
Finally, could this lead to any departures from Rovers?
“It was suggested by Nixon that a return for Hanley to Blackburn could open the door for Sheffield United to bid for long term target Darragh Lenihan.
“That however is something that Rovers must not allow to happen.
“As has already been mentioned, Rovers are already short on defenders, so they cannot work on a one in one out basis in that position over the summer, particularly with regards to one that is as important to the squad as Lenihan is.”