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ANDY CRYER COLUMN: Replacing Leon is worth a gamble
BLACKBURN Rovers are walking a tightrope at the moment as their Champ-ionship fortunes hang in the balance.
Most of us were of the opinion the squad still needed strengthen-ing before Leon Best’s shocking knee injury – now everyone knows urgent work in the market is needed.
Shebby Singh is right when he says there is no panic as the hunt for the ‘Best replacement’ begins but there certainly will be if one isn’t found before the trip to Ipswich.
Nuno Gomes can lead the line but, having been signed to play in a withdrawn role, the addition of a presence in attack is now crucial for Rovers to get off to a flying start.
There is no point in just rushing out and signing anyone. Rovers have done that far too often over the past two years, leaving them with a host of players draining the wage bill in the reserves.
Ambition is also great, with efforts to sign Jordan Rhodes applaudable. It is crucial they know when to give up though.
If Huddersfield aren’t going to sell, or if the player doesn’t want to come, then move on quickly and target the next one.
We are also going to learn a lot about how serious Venky’s really are in their promises to do what is needed to get the club back into their Premier League. After all, it is their fault – and Steve Kean’s – that we are there in the first place.
They have already refused to sack the manager most Rovers fans don’t want in the hot seat, now they have to give him the best possible ammunition to try and prove us all wrong.
This is their problem. A striker equal or better than Leon Best will cost big money, having already paid £3million for the former Newcastle man.
I know people will point to the money brought in for sales over the past two years and say that should be spent on incomings.
It appears Venky’s are ready to spend on a striker – if their efforts to land Rhodes are anything to go by – but, with a large financial black hole after relegation, big wages and big transfer fees are a gamble.
The annual accounts are certainly going to make for an interesting read. Having lost circa £30million in revenue – taking parachute payments into account – how they plan to run the club without losses is uncertain.
Supporters understandably want them to take the gamble. It seems the owners are ready to do that too – after more bold promises. All that does is pile the pressure onto Kean and Venky’s to finally get it right after 18 months of failure.
That needs to start with a couple of strikers, a defender and a central midfielder.