Upon his return from injury, Jan Paul van Hecke is finally joining up with the Blackburn Rovers squad. 

Jan Paul van Hecke joined Blackburn Rovers on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion at the end of August this year, but immediately returned to his parent club after picking up a foot injury in training.

As well as not making an appearance for the Rovers, the 21-year-old centre-back is also yet to feature for the Seagulls after joining them on a three-year-deal in the summer of 2020 from Dutch club NAC Breda.

A week after joining, Brighton & Hove Albion immediately loaned out van Hecke back to the Netherlands, but instead to SC Heerenveen, where he racked up 28 Eredivisie appearances as a regular starter.

Joining up with the Rovers squad for the first time since joining, van Hecke is excited to finally get going.

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“It feels really good to be up here and training with the lads following a long last couple of weeks,” he told RoversTV.

“It feels good and the injury is all fine. Now’s the time to focus on fitness both in training and and in the games.

“I’ve seen really good fighting spirit and some really good games, especially against Cardiff. It was great to be in the stadium and watching that one.

“The international break allows me to settle in, get to know the players better and to improve my fitness.”

With the October international break swiftly underway, Blackburn Rovers’ next fixture is a home tie to high-flyers Coventry City on October 16th, and van Hecke could be well in contention to make his English professional debut.

The 6’2″ centre-half will be eager to hit the ground running early, and especially because he is coming into a team who have started the season well, there is no room for error.

Due to this, manager Tony Mowbray may look to slowly ease van Hecke into the squad instead of throwing him straight in at the deep end, and with Daniel Ayala and Darragh Lenihan having a good start to the campaign, it will prove difficult to cement an immediate first-team spot.