According to a report from Alan Nixon, Blackburn Rovers forward Niall Ennis is closing in on a move to Bolton Wanderers.
24-year-old Ennis won’t be leaving Ewood Park permanently – it’s believed he will head to the League One promotion hopefuls on loan as they seek to reinforce their promotion credentials in the second half of the season. The forward has also been linked with loan moves to Charlton, Blackpool, and Barnsley, having previously seen success in the third tier with Plymouth.
Ian Evatt’s side is currently fourth in the table, but just two points separate them from top team Portsmouth. The top six have just four points between them in one of the tightest promotion races in League One for a number of years. However, the Trotters have games in hand of the teams above them, two over Derby and Peterborough and three over leaders Portsmouth.
That leaves them in the perfect position to launch a title challenge, and they see Ennis as a weapon they can use to improve their already impressive forward line. The 24-year-old has already impressed in League One, scoring 11 times in 36 matches for Plymouth in the 2022/23 season. He netted on his Blackburn debut, a 4-3 victory against Walsall in the League Cup, but he’s struggled for chances since, making just three Championship starts.
Ennis is a product of the Wolverhampton Wanderers youth system, having turned professional at Molineux in 2017. He appeared just once for them but had loan spells with Shrewsbury, Doncaster and Burton. His most fruitful spell came at the Keepmoat, where he scored six times in League One in the aborted 2019/20 season.
A move to Plymouth followed, and after a disappointing return of just ten goals in 49 outings across two seasons, he sprang into life. He helped them finish as runner-up in the league, earning a promotion to the Championship, but also played a part as they got to Wembley, only to lose 4-0 to Bolton in the Papa John’s Trophy final.
Ennis has never been prolific – 11 in 36 is still only just over a goal every three games, but he brings much more than just goals – he registered four assists in the league in 2022/23.
It just hasn’t happened for him at Blackburn – he’s played 499 minutes of football and has only played for more than 70 minutes on two occasions. A loan is the right thing for him, but Bolton? They’re flying, and he’s unlikely to start for Evatt’s side. While the Trotters will get a good player to strengthen their squad, it looks unlikely that he will be starting games regularly unless there’s an injury issue.
This doesn’t feel like the right loan move from the player’s perspective.