Tony Mowbray believes Blackburn Rovers have pulled off a coup by signing Leighton Clarkson on loan from Premier League giants Liverpool, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph.
If the 19-year-old comes close to emulating the impact Harvey Elliott made during his time at Ewood Park, Rovers’ first signing of a painful transfer window will certainly be worth the wait.
Those long-suffering Blackburn supporters shouldn’t expect quite so many mind-bending nutmegs or beautifully crafted goals from Clarkson, though.
He’s a deep-lying, tempo-setting playmaker rather than a balletic winger.
However, if you saw Clarkson make only the second first-team appearance of his career during Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Midtjylland in December last year, you’ll know what to expect from a teenager who plays with a poise and self-assurance that belies his tender years.
Blackburn will hope Liverpool teenager Clarkson emulates Harvey Elliott
“He’s a lovely football player,” Mowbray said after signing the Blackburn-born midfielder on a one-year deal.
“He’s a continuity player who plays forward and picks the right pass. The more you watch clips of him playing, the more you think: ‘Wow, what a talent.’
“He’s a great passer of the ball, sees short and long passes, and fights his weight. If he can stamp his personality and authority on our team, that will be great for us.”
With £15 million in the bank following the sale of Adam Armstrong to Southampton, we could be in for a frantic end to the transfer window at Ewood Park.
And if you’re a Premier League club in the process of identifying the ideal destination for your most promising young talent, look no further than Mowbray’s Blackburn.
The Rovers boss coaxed every ounce of potential out of the mercurial Elliott, while playing a key role in the development of Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Everton-owned Jarrad Branthwaite.
19-year-old Tyrhys Dolan also blossomed into one of the Championship’s most exciting attacking talents under Mowbray last season.
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