The transfer window is only a matter of weeks away, and several members of the Rovers squad will have an eye on its re-opening ahead of prospective interest, or moves away.


Joe Rothwell

A mainstay in the side and now developing into one of the division’s best ball-carriers in the eyes of his manager, Rothwell poses an interesting conundrum for Rovers.

It is becoming increasingly likely that his future lies away from Ewood Park, with his contract due to expire in the summer, however, his performances are at such a high level that there can be no suggestion his head has been turned, despite the constant speculation over a possible move to Rangers.

Rothwell turns 27 in January and is starting to deliver on his undoubted promise with a greater contribution in terms of goals and particularly assists, in the last 12 months, and interest will be high in his services.

January offers Rovers the last chance of cashing in, should any offers that would make sense to accept, come in but equally they will be unlikely to recruit a player of his quality that can make an immediate impact.


Dan Butterworth

Saw his record of featuring in every matchday squad so far this season come to an end in the win at Derby.

He scored the winner for the Under-23s at Crystal Palace last week, having also featured in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last month, and remains on the periphery of Tony Mowbray’s plans.

The 22-year-old was highly sought after in the summer, only for Rovers to keep him around, and was handed his first start in the defeat at QPR last month.

Appearances off the bench in the last two games has taken him to eight appearances in all competitions, but he and Rovers will likely look at the loan options available in January should their own attacking options be fit and firing at that stage.


Hayden Carter

Starred on loan at Burton Albion last season and had been earmarked for another temporary switch away in the summer, though the injury, and late arrival of Jan Paul van Hecke, alongside Joe Rankin-Costello and Scott Wharton already being sidelined, meant the 21-year-old was kept around.

It was important that he was, Carter having started five times and making a further three substitute appearances deputising at right back for Ryan Nyambe, at centre half alongside Darragh Lenihan and also in a back three.

Carter had been a regular in the matchday squad until the return of van Hecke, not involved in the three matchday squads which followed the October break which saw him given a run-out for the Under-23s.

He was back in the senior side off the bench in the 7-0 defeat to Fulham, a chastening experience for the youngster as Rovers shipped five goals in the second half, and saw the returning Scott Wharton preferred to him against Sheffield United.

Whether Rovers will feel able to allow him out in the upcoming window remains to be seen, but Carter will be keen to get some regular game-time under his belt.


Leighton Clarkson

Has been in all 15 matchday squads since becoming Rovers’ first signing of the summer in August. Of his first inclusions in the squad, three of them saw him named in the starting XI, but it’s been a tougher task since for the 20-year-old.

Clarkson has gone unused in the last four matches, and seven times out of the last nine, with a rare start at QPR where he played in an advanced midfield role, included.

He played a similar role against West Brom on his debut, and will point to not being used in his favoured position too much as a reason behind not having the impact he would have hoped.

Liverpool have been to Brockhall to sit down with Rovers and discuss his development, and further talks will take place in the lead up to the January window where all parties will address the situation.

Lewis Travis, John Buckley and Joe Rothwell have been Rovers’ preferred midfield three, while the return to fitness of Bradley Johnson and Jacob Davenport’s impressive outing on his first appearance of the season in the Blades win will make it even tougher for Clarkson.

He is currently away with England Under-20s, and after impressing for them last month, he will be hoping to use that as a chance to state his claim for more involvement in Rovers’ upcoming matches.


Harry Chapman

A League One specialist, with three promotions from the third tier to his name, as well as a fine spell at Shrewsbury Town last season, things haven’t been as easy for the 24-year-old this time around.

Chapman had 10 goals and seven assists in his 58 League One appearances before joining the Brewers on deadline day, but he’s yet to register either during his time at the Pirelli Stadium.

He’s started seven times and made a further two substitute appearances in his 11 squad inclusions, but has yet to hit the form he showed in his six month stay with Shrewsbury.

Chapman, whose contract is up at Rovers next summer, sees his loan spell with Burton up for renewal in January, and Rovers will have a call to make on the winger as to where his immediate, and longer-term, future lies.

Burton, currently 11th in the table, have six loan players on their books and with only five allowed in a matchday squad they have a call to make in the New Year.