Due to the coronavirus pandemic suspending all English league football for the foreseeable future, Championship clubs could be resigned to losing certain key players as free agents this summer. Moreover, financial difficulties could see many players unable to tie down new contracts. Blackburn Rovers is one of those clubs that could be heavily impacted.
Furthermore, Transfermarkt reports that a whopping eight players could be leaving the club for nothing. Today, we look at those players who may just be out of contract with the club come 30 June.
The Eight Players to Potentially Leave Blackburn Rovers for Nothing This Summer
Two Loan Players at Blackburn
There are two loanees that will return to their parent clubs at the end of their spells at Blackburn. Tosin Adarabioyo will be returning to Manchester City. The 22-year-old centre-back has made 27 Championship appearances. Moreover, he’s scored twice and assisted once, and has overall impressed in the Blackburn backline.
The other loanee is Christian Walton, a 24-year-old goalkeeper for the club. Walton has made 37 appearances and kept 12 clean sheets. He is set to return to Brighton & Hove Albion. With those loanees out of the way, here are the club’s own out-of-contract players.
Flying full-back Amari’i Bell arrived at Ewood Park in mid-January 2018 from Fleetwood Town. Blackburn signed the player for an undisclosed fee. Although sparingly used when he first arrived, no outfield player featured more than Bell for Rovers in the 2018-19 Championship season. The 25-year-old featured on 43 occasions that season, scoring thrice. His versatility is his best asset and is one that clubs will want in their backline.
Stewart Downing became Rovers’ first signing of the summer in 2019 after penning a one-year contract with the club. The former England international has a wealth of experience and over 400 Premier League appearances under his belt. The 34-year-old joined on a free transfer from Middlesbrough, where he started his career as a schoolboy. He’s unlikely to sign a new deal at Ewood Park considering his age.
Blackburn completed the permanent signing of Danny Graham following his release from Sunderland in the summer of 2016. The forward, who was a fan favourite whilst on loan at Ewood Park during the second half of 2015-16, put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal, with the option of a third year. Moreover, his contract was extended by a further season in January 2019.
Blackburn secured the services of Richard Smallwood on a free transfer from Rotherham United in June 2017. He joined on a two-year deal with the option of a further year. Furthermore, he was a regular feature in helping Tony Mowbray’s side to promotion back to the Championship. Smallwood kept his place in the second tier in blue-and-white. However, the 2019-20 campaign has seen Smallwood’s game-time limited, with the 29-year-old featuring twice so far, both in the League Cup.
August 2017 saw Blackburn Rovers complete the signing of Canadian international Jayson Leutwiler from Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee. The Swiss-born stopper, who previously worked under manager Tony Mowbray at Middlesbrough, signed a two-year contract with the option of a further 12 months. Blackburn are going to want to extend his deal before it runs out. If they don’t, then they’ll be on the hunt for a new number one considering the impending departure of Christian Walton.
July 2017 saw Rovers complete the signing of highly-rated striker Dominic Samuel for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal through to June 2020. During his time at Ewood Park, he made 36 appearances in their stint in League One. However, Samuel has only made a further 15 appearances since the end of the 2017/18 season, with two of those appearances being in the Premier League Two. One of the younger players out of contract this summer, Dominic Samuel will definitely have many lower-league clubs looking to give him game time up top.