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The 3 Blackburn Rovers players that really need to prove their worth next season

Rovers will be looking to crack the top six in the Championship in 2023-24, so this trio need to step their performances up a level

Despite spending much of the 2022-23 season in the top six of the Championship, Blackburn Rovers failed to finish in the play-offs spots and instead had to settle for seventh spot.

Under Jon Dahl Tomasson, Rovers got closer than they have been since their return to the second tier in 2018, but ultimately came up short.

There has already been big changes ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, with Ben Brereton Diaz, Bradley Dack and Daniel Ayala all departing, leaving the current Blackburn squad looking relatively young.

More signings will no doubt arrive at Ewood Park following the additions of Niall Ennis, Sondre Tronstad and Arnor Sigurdsson, but let’s look at THREE current Rovers players who need to step up and prove their worth in the upcoming season.

Tyrhys Dolan

Dolan seemingly came out of nowhere in 2020 when plucked from Preston North End’s youth academy following his release – it wasn’t expected that he’d make a quick impact in the first-team but that’s exactly what he did.

He shows his ability in flashes, but Dolan isn’t exactly consistent – much like most wingers in the EFL – and he can frustrate at times with some of the things he tries on the pitch.

Whilst he doesn’t lack in work rate, and he did grab 10 Championship goal contributions last season, Dolan can sometimes falter when it comes to an end product, but if he starts to play on the left more often now Brereton Diaz has departed, we could see the 21-year-old offer more and he really does need to step it up.

Buckley is a player that has been linked with Premier League clubs in the past, but the 23-year-old really failed to muster up any form of consistency in the 2022-23 season.

He played 21 times in the Championship last season but was an unused substitute on seven separate occasions, with Jon Dahl Tomasson perhaps not fully convinced on him.

Buckley’s season ended prematurely against Stoke City in March with a knee injury, but with rumours rife surrounding the future of Lewis Travis, he may need to prove his worth considering he’s under contract until the summer of 2027.

 

The older Wharton brother on the books at Blackburn has been highly-rated since his real emergence in the first-team in 2020 before he suffered a bad achilles injury – game-time in the second half of the 2022-23 season under Tomasson though was hard to come by.

Appearing 22 times in the Championship last season, just seven of those outings came in 2023 and he played in just two of the last 15 matches of the campaign.

Dom Hyam and Hayden Carter were the partnership of choice for Blackburn’s Danish manager, but with the aforementioned Ayala now departed, Wharton will have to step up in case of injuries to one of Hyam or Carter.

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