Blackburn Rovers have made solid inroads on the contract front in recent weeks, with numerous academy graduates committing their long-term future to the project at Ewood Park.
Blackburn Rovers have secured the futures of Jordan Eastham, Joe Hilton and Jake Garrett over the course of the international break. Impressive centre-back Scott Wharton followed suit earlier this week too, making a spell of great progress in terms of securing players’ futures.
With the break now coming to a close, the focus may well have shifted away from contracts and back to the football until the end of the season. Another agreement is reportedly on the cards ahead of Saturday’s clash with Birmingham City and it remains to be seen just who that is, but one man who should be considered a matter of priority is Hayden Carter.
A new star at Ewood…
Stockport-born Carter has been pushing for a regular senior role for some time now. He was a star performer out on loan with Burton Albion but upon his return, game time was still limited. That resulted in a half-season stint with Portsmouth, where he again proved what he’s capable of.
Jon Dahl Tomasson opted to keep the defender for this campaign and over the first few months, his minutes remained patchy. Carter was in and out of the squad but since an appearance off the bench against Bristol City in late January, he hasn’t looked back. Since then, the academy graduate has started all but one game, nailing down a starting spot alongside Dom Hyam.
It’s no coincidence that Rovers have only lost once in that time too. He’s proven an assured presence on the ball and the defensive side of his game has developed brilliantly, quickly becoming almost undroppable.
This form will start to draw attention, and it is always a risk letting impressing players enter the final 12 months of their contract. Carter will do just that this summer if a new deal isn’t struck before then, with his current agreement expiring in 2024.
Blackburn Rovers should look to remove all risk by securing his long-term future as soon as possible. It would come as a big show of faith in his abilities and potential after a strong few months and could really affirm the belief that he will be one of the club’s starting centre-backs for some time to come.