This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold?’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
It has been a rather productive season for Tosin Adarabioyo at Blackburn Rovers.
Having joined the club on a season-long loan from Manchester City back in the summer transfer window, the centre back will have been looking to again catch the eye, following a spell in the Championship with West Brom last season which showed some signs of promise, as the Baggies ultimately missed out on promotion when they were beaten by Aston Villa in the play-off semi finals.
Initially, it had been a slow start to life at Ewood Park for Adarabioyo, with injury restricting him to just one appearance for Tony Mowbray’s side before October.
But after similar fitness problems for fellow centre backs Darragh Lenihan and then Derrick Williams, Adarabioyo has since been able to establish a place for himself at the heart of Rovers’ backline, forming a solid partnership with Lenihan since the Irishman’s return from a knee injury in November.
Those contributions from Adarabioyo have seen him help Rovers to tenth in the current Championship table, three points adrift of the play-off places, and while his presence may have helped them to do that this season, it seems it will not make it easy for the Lancashire club to retain his services beyond the expiration of his loan deal at the end of the season.
According to recent reports, several Premier League teams – including Everton, Leicester, Wolves, Southampton, Newcastle and Burnley – as well as Championship league leaders Leeds, are all interested in a move for Adarabioyo in the summer transfer window.
Consequentially, given the chance to prove himself in the top-flight is one Adarabioyo is understandably likely to want to take, you feel Blackburn themselves would have to be successful in the battle for promotion if they are to have any chance of bringing the 22-year-old back to Ewood Park next season.
Of course, it should also be noted that it may be somewhat foolish to write off Adarabioyo’s hopes back at his parent club this season.
This current campaign has rather exposed City’s lack of options in the centre of their defence, an issue which may only be made worse next season by the club’s impending Champions League ban, albeit to the individual benefit of Adarabioyo.
If the lack of European football does indeed make it difficult for City to both retain and sign players in the summer, then Adarabioyo may well feel that an opportunity to prove himself at the Etihad could yet be his sooner rather than later.
Given that just a few months ago, the centre back revealed that within five years he wants to be wearing the captain’s armband at City while having lifted the Premier League and Champions League trophies in that time, you feel that next season could be a chance for Adarabioyo to lay the foundations for such success at the Etihad.
As a result, it could be argued it will be almost impossible for Blackburn to extend Adarabioyo’s loan with the club beyond the end of this season, even though you feel the performances of the defender mean that that is something they would probably want to do.