Blackburn Rovers Boss Issues Update On Talisman

Blackburn Rovers head coach John Eustace is hoping that an injury suffered by Sammie Szmodics is nothing serious after the 28-year-old was forced off in the pre-season win over Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

The Lancashire outfit kicked off their preparation for the new campaign against League Two side Stanley at the weekend, emerging with a 2-1 victory. It was the perfect tonic following a dismal season, where they survived relegation from the Championship by just three points.

Their second tier status was more than supplemented by the goals of Szmodics, who finished the division’s top scorer with 27 goals. As such, there has been speculation that he could earn himself a move to the Premier League this summer for the first time in his career.

Having signed a new three-year deal last November, Rovers hold the upper hand when it comes to any potential negotiations. Despite the tentative links, the club have not placed a valuation on his head, according to reports.

Rumours are just that though, and Szmodics was named in the starting lineup for their first pre-season fixtures against neighbours Accrington. However, the attacking midfielder was forced off a minute before half time. Lancashire Telegraph report that the ex-Peterborough United man left the stadium in a protective boot, although Eustace is confident that the injury is nothing serious:

“It was a bit of a naughty tackle on him and his leg has bruised,” he told the publication.

“It could’ve been a lot worse. Sammie seems fine in there. He’s hobbling around a little bit. Fortunately, I think he’ll be fine.”

Szmodics later took to social media to further alleviate any fears, indicating that there is no long-lasting damage.

Rovers next pre-season outing comes in a behind closed doors fixture against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

Writer’s View

It’s always a scare when a key player picks up any sort of injury, especially one that has been so pivotal to the team. However, Blackburn fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief after learning that this appears to be nothing more than a knock.

Szmodics will be integral to Rovers’ ambitions next season, and they will wrap him in cotton wool to ensure he begins the new campaign in the best shape. What they can’t control is any interest he may attract in the coming weeks. It is a positive that nobody has opted to take a gamble just yet, especially as they have seen key players such as Ben Brereton Diaz and Adam Wharton move on in the past 12 months.

The decision to reward their talisman with a new deal appears to have been an exceptionally smart move. It now puts the club in a very strong position. Any potential suitors will be wary of the price it may take to prise him away from Ewood Park, especially as he is now in his late 20s and won’t have any sell-on value.

 

About Jamie Ward 676 Articles
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