Danny Graham felt Ben Brereton always had the ability to develop into a goalscorer – and says the belief built up while playing for Chile have been key to his early season form.

Brereton was named Championship player of the month for September after netting six times in five matches, while his strike in the weekend defeat at Blackpool made it 10 in his opening 11 games.

The 22-year-old had managed only nine in his first 88 Rovers appearances, with the weight of his £6m transfer fee in 2018 weighing heavy on his shoulders.

Brereton had to settle for a bit-part role during the partnership of Graham and Bradley Dack which flourished until the latter’s first ACL injury in December 2019, at which point Adam Armstrong took over as the club’s main source of goals.

With Armstrong having since been sold to Southampton, Graham having left in 2020 and Dack sidelined by a second ACL injury, Brereton has been the man to step up and fill that void.

And Graham said: “Bezza always had the attributes to develop into a goalscorer. 

“I think a massive part of his form is down to confidence, and I honestly put his form down to getting the call from Chile to play in the Copa America. 

“Scoring goals and assisting has given him massive belief and he’s brought that confidence back to Blackburn which is great to see. 

“What Bezza has always been good at is travelling with the ball but he was just missing that end product. Now he is doing both.”

Contract talks continue between the club and Brereton’s representatives, though Rovers do have a 12-month option in the deal he signed in 2018 which would secure his future until the summer of 2023.

His form in the opening weeks of the season won’t have gone unnoticed however, while his reputation forged on the international stage with Chile is also likely to bring admirers his way.

“I think Bez just needs to focus on himself and continue to improve," Graham told Footy Accumulators.

"I think he’s ready to make the step up now he’s playing at a top level with Chile and doing very well, so he has the capabilities to go higher, 100 per cent."

Chile face an uphill task in their quest to reach the 2022 World Cup after defeat to Peru in the early hours of Friday morning. Brereton played 76 minutes of the 2-0 defeat which leaves them with only seven points from their 10 qualifying matches.

Back home, Brereton was named Championship player of the month for September after netting six goals in five matches, while several supporters have won big money having backed the attacker to score 20 or more goals this season.

Having reached half that figure already, supporters were offered the chance to take half of their potential winnings now, of which several did, and toasted Brereton’s success.

On that, Graham added: "Personally, I would have backed him to score 20-plus but I think his aim was probably to reach 10 then see where he goes from there. But he’s already on 10 and he needs to keep progressing and aim high. A target of 20-plus is well within his sights now and good luck to him."