FORMER Ewood Park favourite David Bentley has completed his Blackburn Rovers return – with boss Michael Appleton still not finished in attempts to strengthen his squad.
Spurs midfielder Bentley joined Manchester City defender Karim Rekik in putting pen to paper on loan deals yesterday, with boss Appleton still in the market for a left winger as he looks to boost Rovers’ late play-off push. Both will go straight into Rovers’ squad for this afternoon’s FA Cup fifth round tie at Arsenal, with the visitors’ 1,400 allocation sold out.
Winger Bentley enjoyed the best form of his career to date during his previousRovers spell between 2005-08, earning him England recognition.
He made more than 100 Premier League appearances for the club after signing from Arsenal, initially on loan, helping Rovers into Europe and winning the club’s player of the season award.
Bentley has struggled to regain the form he showed for Rovers since moving to Spurs in 2008 for in the region of £15million.
He has since spent spells on loan at Birmingham City, West Ham United and, earlier this season, Russian outfit FC Rostov and will be looking to kick start his flagging career at Ewood.
Appleton is understood to have signed Bentley with a view to making it a permanent move in the summer as he continues to make his mark on the squad.
The Rovers boss has also signed Rekik and DJ Campbell on loan this month and wants to add to his options of the left of midfield imminently.
Rekik’s arrival from Manchester City throws Gael Givet’s Ewood future into further doubt, as the 18-year-old is capable of playing left back and centre back.
Givet has spent much of the season as an unused substitute and Appleton has already indicated the Frenchman would be allowed to leave on loan should the opportunity arise.
Meanwhile, striker Anton Forrester has been handed a squad number and is expected to be in the travelling party for this afternoon’s FA Cup trip to Arsenal.
The 18-year-old striker signed for Rovers on a free transfer from Everton last month and scored two goals in his first game for the development side on Monday night.