BLACKBURN Rovers new boy Bryan Dabo may have been signed to add extra bite to Gary Bowyer’s midfield but the French enforcer insists: ‘I’m not just a dog of war’.
The 21-year-old, who could make his debut in today’s Championship clash at Middlesbrough (3pm), has carved out a reputation in his homeland as a promising defensive midfielder.
But 6ft 1in Dabo has assured Rovers supporters there is more to his game than just doing the dirty work.
“I think I am a strong player but I like touching the ball,” said Dabo, an unused substitute in last Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Blackpool.
“I play with my brain. I don’t play like a dog – I play with my brain.
“I like to run to score goals. I prefer that to defence but if the team needs a compact player who can defend then I can do that.”
Dabo will spend the rest of the season on loan at Ewood Park from Ligue 1 outfit Montpellier.
Should he impress, Rovers boss Bowyer will have the option of signing the France U21 international on a permanent deal.
Marseille-born Dabo is not looking that far ahead.
Instead he is concentrating on forcing his way into Bowyer’s starting line-up – and adapting to life in England.
Rovers’ French-born Benin international striker – and fluent English speaker – Rudy Gestede is helping Dabo with the language barrier.
And Dabo is full of admiration for the way Bowyer has been with him since his arrival at Rovers in the last week of the January transfer window.
“The manager has said to me if I work hard, enjoy training and show him I can play, everything will be okay,” said Dabo.
“He is a good manager. He is very friendly with me, he speaks a lot with me and he lets you know what he wants.
“That’s important for me because I’m new. It’s not easy when you’re from another country and from another way of playing football. He’s helped me.”
Dabo – who ‘never stops smiling’, according to Bowyer – has already made a big impression on his new team-mates.
And he will ingratiate himself further when – like every new Rovers signing – he has to sing a song in front of the rest of the squad.
Music-fan Dabo said: “Nobody has spoke about that yet! “I like Marvin Gaye and the Mamas & the Papas – I like different kinds of songs.
“I think I will sing a song in French so if I sing badly and make a mistake no-one would understand!”