Barry Douglas admits he could have stayed at Leeds United this season but his desire to play first-team football led him to Blackburn Rovers, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph.
For the second time in two years, the Scottish left-back was heading out the door just weeks after celebrating promotion to the Premier League.
Wolves sold Douglas to Leeds for £5 million after storming to the Championship title in 2018. And, after struggling for fitness and form during his time at Elland Road, he was on his way again after Marcelo Bielsa ended the club’s 16-year exile from the top flight.
Douglas fell behind Stuart Dallas and Gjanni Alioski in Bielsa’s pecking order and, when Blackburn came calling, the journeyman defender couldn’t resist the chance to play week in, week out – even if it meant dropping to the Championship once more.
“Football is a short career, I’d never rest on my laurels. I could have stayed at Leeds. I was wanted to stay and compete for a place but I wasn’t guaranteed football,” Douglas says, admitting he was still part of Bielsa’s plans in West Yorkshire.
“I felt the onus was on me to make that decision and that’s the way I approach things. I don’t want to be comfortable, I want to go and challenge myself. That’s how I address things.”
Blackburn may be 14th in the Championship but no club in the division has scored more than Tony Mowbray’s side so far (18 goals).
And if Douglas can rediscover the form that made him the second tier’s most prolific assist-provider with 14 in 2017/18, Rovers could be dark horses for promotion.