Comment: Blackburn Rovers have ideal replacement for Leeds United man already sewn up
Blackburn Rovers are a side in flux. Sitting 15th in the Sky Bet Championship table, the Ewood Park outfit is ripe for a summer restructure and makeover.
That has already started with local reporter Rich Sharpe writing that Rovers have told Lewis Holtby that he has featured in his last game for the club and that they are also likely to be taking up contract options on both Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rothwell.
Another decision that Sharpe says has been made is over Leeds United loanee Barry Douglas who he says will not be signed on a permanent basis – wages being the issue there.
However, Tony Mowbray need not fret as Blackburn have a ready-made replacement already in their ranks – Harry Pickering.
Pickering a ready-made replacement for Blackburn
22-year-old left-back Pickering is already on the books at Rovers who bought him from Crewe Alexandra on January 31 before loaning him back to the Railwaymen.
The young defender has gone on to make 48 appearances this season for Crewe across all competitions scoring 4 goals and providing 2 assists.
Not only has he caught the headlines with that output but he has also continued to put in the level of consistent display that brought about Blackburn’s interest in the first place.
Indeed, he has been given the responsibility of captaining the side, something that he has done since early December (barring last time out against Bristol Rovers).
Blackburn is an outfit that faces a lot of decisions in the summer with 11 players on the books with contracts that expire at the end of June.
A decision has been made on Lewis Holtby and there are projected decisions to be made on defender Ryan Nyambe and midfielder Joe Rothwell.
Leeds United loanee Barry Douglas was the preferred choice to anchor the left side of Blackburn’s defence but he is mooted not to be returning as a permanent signing. Douglas’ inclusion came over youngster Amari’i Bell – another of those with an expiring contract.
Should the Rovers hierarchy choose not to extend Bell’s contract at Ewood Park, they need not worry too deeply. In Harry Pickering, they look to have a player who can step into the boots being vacated by Barry Douglas who looks destined to become a free agent this summer.