This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Blackburn Rovers have joined QPR in the race to sign Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen, according to the Lancashire Telegraph.
Johansen spent the second half of last season on loan at QPR, scoring three goals in 21 appearances for the West London outfit.
QPR are keen on a permanent move for Johansen, but the Lancashire Telegraph report that the 30-year-old has now been added to Blackburn’s radar.
With Johansen’s contract expiring at the end of next season, Fulham are open to offers for the player this summer meaning a move could be on the cards.
Here, we discuss this potential arrival at Ewood Park…
When you want to build a young, hungry squad like Tony Mowbray does, having someone like Stefan Johansen in there with his experience is a vital asset to have.
They have already lost a few experienced heads in there including Corry Evans, Stewart Downing and Lewis Holtby – and with Blackburn hopefully on the verge of exiting their transfer embargo after submitting their accounts for the 2019/20 season – they could easily act on QPR’s slowness to get a deal done and secure this signing.
Although the 30-year-old wouldn’t be available on a free with his contract at Craven Cottage lasting until next summer, Fulham may be willing to lower their price a bit, especially in Covid times when teams are so reluctant to spend money.
Bradley Johnson might be a decent player – but at 34 – he may leave Ewood Park in the next few years and they can’t rely on him to play 46 Championship games next season. This is where someone like Johansen can come in to be a leader in the dressing room and on the pitch.
If he’s available for a sensible price, it’s definitely one for Tony Mowbray to pursue. He would be a much-needed signing and is likely to start.
I think it’d be a good signing for Rovers, for sure.
Johansen is a top player and at Championship level there are few midfielders as good as him at what he does.
He’s great at knowing what the game needs, whether that be a foul, possession being kept, the tempo increased or slowed down among other things, and that sort of experience in the middle of the park would bolster any side.
I do wonder whether Fulham would be wise to keep him and under the new manager they may even decide to do so but if he is going to leave I think he’d be a good signing for pretty much any team in the league, including Blackburn.
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Rovers have lost several midfield options this summer so they need to replenish that area of the pitch, and Johansen would be a top addition should they get a deal over the line.
You’d expect that Queens Park Rangers would be leading the chase for the Norwegian considering his experience with the Hoops last season, but it may come down to who puts the most money on the table.
Johansen provides a drive from midfield and if Fulham didn’t have so many good options in that position then he’d be a really decent asset for them this coming season.
However he would fit in at most Championship clubs, especially ones who will be looking to mount a play-off push next season and Johansen would probably compliment the battling qualities of Lewis Travis really well.
It may take Rovers to sell Adam Armstrong though to start doing transfer deals for money this summer though so they may have to move quick if they want to secure Johansen as there’s bound to be interest from elsewhere.