Paul Wheelock column: Rovers must look to move on returning loanees

Ruben Rochina

Ruben Rochina

First published in Sport
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

ROVERS’ squad will be swelled by the return of eight first-team players this summer once their loans end.

I use the word ‘swelled’ and not ‘boosted’ as the brutal truth is seven of the eight are disposable.

Admittedly that is harsh on Josh Morris, Yann Songo’o and Jordan Slew, youngsters who have enjoyed impressive stints away from Ewood Park this season.

But in all honesty are they going to challenge for a place in Gary Bowyer’s starting XI?

Morris has been excellent for Fleetwood and is just 90 minutes away from helping the Cod Army to Wembley and a place in the League Two play-off final.

But if Markus Olsson is handed a new contract – and he certainly went the right way about getting one with his form at the back end of the campaign – Rovers will have back-up for their undisputed first choice left back Tommy Spurr.

Morris would prefer to play further upfield anyway.

But he will be hard pressed to win a place on the left wing given Bowyer has the likes of Ben Marshall, Craig Conway, Josh King and, possibly, Liam Feeney to call on.

Rovers do need cover at centre back now that Michael Keane has gone back to Manchester United.

But with the highly thought of Jack O’Connell set to be given a chance to stake his claim in pre-season, that could leave Songo’o even further down the pecking order.

The same could apply to Slew if Rovers sign the versatile Luke Varney to provide competition for fearsome front two Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede.

It therefore would be better for Slew, Songo’o and Morris to move on and get the first-team football they need to fulfil their potential.

The same could be said of Alex Marrow who worryingly has made absolutely no impact at Fleetwood, unlike Morris.

Alan Judge, meanwhile, has already stated his desire to sign permanently for Brentford.

And if the Bees stump up the cash the winger will surely get his way as Marshall, Conway and King are all ahead of him in Bowyer’s thinking.

It’s an open secret that Rovers would also happily sell Leon Best and David Goodwillie.

But whether there are buyers in the market willing to pick up the tab for the strikers – Best’s eye-watering £32,000-a-week wages in particular – is another matter.

So of the eight returnees that leaves Ruben Rochina.

While he is a player whose reputation seems to grow stronger the longer he does not play for Rovers, the Spaniard is an undoubted talent who has the ability to light up the Championship.

It is a talent which has seen Rochina play regularly for a Rayo Vallecano side in one of the best, if not the best, leagues in Europe.

Would he come back to Rovers and be happy to battle for his place when, if reports are to believed, his performances in La Liga have attracted the interest of several potential suitors?

It is ironic, then, that the one player Rovers should be looking to keep out of their returning loanees is the one player they could have the most trouble keeping hold of.

Comments (12)

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12:11pm Thu 15 May 14

Steven Seagull says...

Until they send him out on loan again in January.

Poor lad doesn't know whether he's coming or going.
Until they send him out on loan again in January. Poor lad doesn't know whether he's coming or going. Steven Seagull
  • Score: -7

12:12pm Thu 15 May 14

Frisson says...

needs to be kept and started and injury free. He cant be that bad if a few La Liga teams want him.
needs to be kept and started and injury free. He cant be that bad if a few La Liga teams want him. Frisson
  • Score: 4

12:16pm Thu 15 May 14

dallydally says...

Too moody and not suited to the cut and thrust of the Championship. Head too often down and greedy. Cash in on him. We don't need Rochina - simples
Too moody and not suited to the cut and thrust of the Championship. Head too often down and greedy. Cash in on him. We don't need Rochina - simples dallydally
  • Score: 5

12:27pm Thu 15 May 14

A Rover 45 years and over says...

Too talented to be just a squad player in the Championship. Better suited to Premier League in my opinion and would be good to have on the books if we ever got back.
Too talented to be just a squad player in the Championship. Better suited to Premier League in my opinion and would be good to have on the books if we ever got back. A Rover 45 years and over
  • Score: 8

1:02pm Thu 15 May 14

French Rover says...

bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.
bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion. French Rover
  • Score: 7

2:14pm Thu 15 May 14

Incest Each Sunday says...

French Rover wrote:
bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.
I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.
[quote][p][bold]French Rover[/bold] wrote: bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.[/p][/quote]I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone. Incest Each Sunday
  • Score: 11

2:49pm Thu 15 May 14

French Rover says...

Incest Each Sunday wrote:
French Rover wrote:
bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.
I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.
williamson?
[quote][p][bold]Incest Each Sunday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]French Rover[/bold] wrote: bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.[/p][/quote]I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.[/p][/quote]williamson? French Rover
  • Score: 1

3:06pm Thu 15 May 14

Incest Each Sunday says...

French Rover wrote:
Incest Each Sunday wrote:
French Rover wrote:
bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.
I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.
williamson?
I'm guessing that with a fully fit squad to choose from, Bowyer's starting XI (442) will be:

Robinson
New RB/Lowe, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr
Marshall, Cairney, Evans, Conway
Rhodes, Gestede

Cairney supplies the creativity in midfield and Evans does most of the donkey work. I wouldn't drop Cairney and Rochina doesn't get back to help defend. It all depends on whether or not Bowyer is told he has to sell Rhodes, but if not then I can't see a starting berth for Rochina. It's a shame really.
[quote][p][bold]French Rover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Incest Each Sunday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]French Rover[/bold] wrote: bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.[/p][/quote]I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.[/p][/quote]williamson?[/p][/quote]I'm guessing that with a fully fit squad to choose from, Bowyer's starting XI (442) will be: Robinson New RB/Lowe, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr Marshall, Cairney, Evans, Conway Rhodes, Gestede Cairney supplies the creativity in midfield and Evans does most of the donkey work. I wouldn't drop Cairney and Rochina doesn't get back to help defend. It all depends on whether or not Bowyer is told he has to sell Rhodes, but if not then I can't see a starting berth for Rochina. It's a shame really. Incest Each Sunday
  • Score: 10

3:29pm Thu 15 May 14

greenscreener says...

Incest Each Sunday wrote:
French Rover wrote:
Incest Each Sunday wrote:
French Rover wrote:
bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.
I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.
williamson?
I'm guessing that with a fully fit squad to choose from, Bowyer's starting XI (442) will be:

Robinson
New RB/Lowe, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr
Marshall, Cairney, Evans, Conway
Rhodes, Gestede

Cairney supplies the creativity in midfield and Evans does most of the donkey work. I wouldn't drop Cairney and Rochina doesn't get back to help defend. It all depends on whether or not Bowyer is told he has to sell Rhodes, but if not then I can't see a starting berth for Rochina. It's a shame really.
Agree with your assessment.

It is a squad game and if you want guys on the bench who can provide something different then Rochina and King would certainly fit the bill. Often sat through games this season, especially a few draws, and thought we need to inject some real skill or blistering pace to change our attacking dimension.

Can't remember ever thinking its time to bring Williamson on.
[quote][p][bold]Incest Each Sunday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]French Rover[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Incest Each Sunday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]French Rover[/bold] wrote: bring him back...he can be the difference we need next season between play-offs and automatic promotion.[/p][/quote]I'd sooner have Rochina in the squad than Feeney or Varney, but he's really unhappy warming the bench. Just out of curiosity, who would you drop from the starting XI to accommodate him? Personally, I can't pick anyone.[/p][/quote]williamson?[/p][/quote]I'm guessing that with a fully fit squad to choose from, Bowyer's starting XI (442) will be: Robinson New RB/Lowe, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr Marshall, Cairney, Evans, Conway Rhodes, Gestede Cairney supplies the creativity in midfield and Evans does most of the donkey work. I wouldn't drop Cairney and Rochina doesn't get back to help defend. It all depends on whether or not Bowyer is told he has to sell Rhodes, but if not then I can't see a starting berth for Rochina. It's a shame really.[/p][/quote]Agree with your assessment. It is a squad game and if you want guys on the bench who can provide something different then Rochina and King would certainly fit the bill. Often sat through games this season, especially a few draws, and thought we need to inject some real skill or blistering pace to change our attacking dimension. Can't remember ever thinking its time to bring Williamson on. greenscreener
  • Score: 11

12:07am Fri 16 May 14

bluerob says...

He should never have been loaned out, had we kept him we would be queuing for our Wembley tickets now.
He should never have been loaned out, had we kept him we would be queuing for our Wembley tickets now. bluerob
  • Score: 2

12:53pm Fri 16 May 14

handyamBRFC says...

hey
although many doubt Lowe...!!!
I personally think he could be the right full back we need
he is industrious
works hard
got a good engine
and actually hes a defender
but has had to play in midfield for a long time...!!!
because he would play anywhere

and hes BRFC through and through
a loyal club man....!!

what do you think...!!
hey although many doubt Lowe...!!! I personally think he could be the right full back we need he is industrious works hard got a good engine and actually hes a defender but has had to play in midfield for a long time...!!! because he would play anywhere and hes BRFC through and through a loyal club man....!! what do you think...!! handyamBRFC
  • Score: 4

10:19pm Fri 16 May 14

digitusjonfred says...

Keep Ruben IF he is willing to be a squad member, incest each sunday,s both comments are spot on.
Keep Ruben IF he is willing to be a squad member, incest each sunday,s both comments are spot on. digitusjonfred
  • Score: 2

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