Blackburn Rovers will have to make decisions regarding the immediate futures of three of their loaned out youngsters.
Blackburn Rovers sent three youngsters out on loan to help them gain some valuable first team experience in the football league. However, Scott Wharton, Lewis Hardcastle and Matty Platt have all found first team opportunities hard to come by at their respective clubs.
Scott Wharton was sent on loan to League Two promotion hopefuls Lincoln City in the summer,in the hope that he could pick up some more first team experience after signing a new deal with Blackburn Rovers. However, it hasn’t worked out the way he’d wished. The defender has only made six League appearances, most recently coming off the bench against Stevenage.
Defender Matty Platt is yet to make a single League appearance for Accrington Stanley this season, only playing in the EFL Trophy and EFL Cup on a combined five occasions.
Lewis Hardcastle has been featuring in the matchday squad at Port Vale regularly, but has been making substitute appearances mainly. The midfielder has played nine games in all competitions, struggling to nail down a first team place.
The young trio all have deals agreed until the end of the season, but Blackburn Rovers are now facing a decision whether to keep them out on loan, or to bring them back to send them to another club or to keep them with the academy or reserve squad.
Ahead of the fast approaching transfer window, Blackburn Rovers’ Under-23s boss Damien Johnson has said the loan experience is still valuable for the youngsters, but it isn’t ideal that they aren’t getting as much game time as they would have preferred.
“They go to a different environment so can learn even when they don’t play,” Johnson told the Lancashire Telegraph.
“But the ideal scenario is they go and experience a different environment, play some men’s football and have that pressure on a Saturday at 3pm with the games.
“The disappointing thing is that from that aspect, while there have been benefits from them being there, they have not quite got the minutes we would have liked.
“That’s just the challenge. They all want to go on loan and feel they are ready, but it’s not easy.
“We have seen it over the last few years with loan players who have come in to this club and maybe haven’t been able to get in front of the regular lads who are established in those positions.
“It’s sometimes difficult to get them out of the team or take their place, and our lads have found that.
“The manager will speak to them all around Christmas, we have call backs, and we have decisions to make on the players now in the building who might want to go on loan.”