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Sport ‘Has to be considered a coup for them’ – Blackburn Rovers in race to sign in-demand defender: The verdict

15:30  20 june  2021
15:30  20 june  2021 Source:   footballleagueworld.co.uk

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a man playing a game of football: stephen o'donnell © Provided by Football League World stephen o'donnell

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Blackburn Rovers are starting to get linked with some potential transfer deals as they start to ramp up their preparations for next season.

The latest report from the Daily Mail has suggested that Blackburn are now interested in making a potential move to sign Motherwell defender Stephen O’Donnell this summer.

That comes with the right-back having managed to enjoy an impressive campaign with Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League last term managing to score one goal and provide three assists in his 34 appearances.

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While he has also been starring for Scotland in the Euros so far and was one of the standout performers in their 0-0 draw against England.

According to the Daily Mail, Motherwell could be set to sell the defender and he could be available for a modest transfer fee over the next few weeks.

It is believed that Blackburn are facing rival interest from the likes of Birmingham City, Barnsley, Blackpool and Derby County in the race for the full-back’s signature.

With Blackburn interested in O’Donnell, we asked out FLW writers whether they feel it would be a good signing for Rovers to make this summer…

Chris Gallagher

This would be a very smart bit of business for Rovers.

Firstly, O’Donnell is going to be available for a ‘modest’ fee because of a clause in his contract, so the fact he won’t cost a lot is a major positive. Then, in terms of what he offers, O’Donnell proved against England in Euro 2020 that is a steady, reliable performer.

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There’s no doubting that he can improve aspects of his game, with his quality in the final third still not consistent enough but as a defender he will rarely let you down. So, in that sense, he would be a good signing for Blackburn and the fact there is so much interest in O’Donnell proves he is going to be a bargain for someone this summer.

So, if Tony Mowbray wins the race for the player, it has to be considered a coup for the team.

Phil Spencer

This could be a really smart addition for Tony Mowbray’s side.

Stephen O’Donnell has proven himself as a top performer in recent years during his time in Scotland and so it’s no surprise that he’s attracting such interest.

However, his performance against England on Friday is really what will have attracted interest.

At 29 years of age O’Donnell is ready to hit the ground running and with a release clause in his contract it means that any move has the potential to be a bit of a bargain.

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It remains to be seen if Blackburn can beat the significant competition to his signature, but if they can, he could be a real asset next term.

Tony Wilding

For me, I think this could depend on how Blackburn intent to use Joe Rankin-Costello next season.

Up until now, Rankin-Costello has been used primarily as a right-back, but he is more naturally an attacking player, and it is that forward role that the 21-year-old would seemingly prefer to play in long term.

As a result, if Blackburn do decide to play Rankin-Costello further forward, then they may need to start thinking about bringing in some cover for Ryan Nyambe on the right-hand side of their defence, and that is a role it seems O’Donnell could fill rather well.

The Scot is someone who judging by his performance against England on Friday, can be a solid option in that position, and will provide an attacking emphasis from that area of the pitch, which is something that Rovers boss Tony Mowbray often seems keen to exploit.

With that in mind, if Rovers do decide to play Rankin-Costello further forward and look to bring in another right-back to allow them to do that, then O’Donnell may not be a bad option for them to turn to in order to fill that role.

Source

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