Clubs interested in signing a number of Rovers youngsters face a wait for the club to make decisions on their futures.

Jake Garrett is attracting loan attention from League One sides, but with no manager in place, and only two recognised central midfielders on the club’s books after the publication of the retained list, Rovers won’t be pressed into making any decisions until later in pre-season.

The 19-year-old impressed in last summer’s pre-season friendlies, but despite appearing in several matchday squads, is still waiting to make his senior debut.

An impressive end to the season in the Under-23s for Garrett has not gone unnoticed, but Rovers will give their new manager chance to assess the whole of his squad before decisions are made.

Rovers have used the loan market more and more for their young players in recent windows, with John Buckley and Lewis Travis having previously progressed straight from Under-23s football to the senior side.

Many of Mike Sheron’s Under-23s side will be keen on loan moves to the EFL when the transfer window re-opens later this week, while new recruit Ethan Walker has already outlined that he would be open to a temporary switch to get match minutes under his belt.

The club took the decision to reduce the average age of their Under-23s side at the start of 2021.

That led to the likes of Sam Burns, Louie Annesley, Dan Pike and Connor McBride all gaining experience out on loan.

That was a conscious move, outlined by head of Academy Stuart Jones, who says that stance will continue.

“Around 18 months ago we looked to change the model where we had an average age which was older, and we’ve worked to bring that down,” Jones said.

“I think that’s really important that the ‘older’ pros, can we get them some loan experience if they’re not around our first-team.

“That’s important for their development and we then challenge the younger ones coming through and I think the second part of the season that showed that while the first half of the season they struggled with the younger ones going in, once they grasped the league and the demands of that we did really well with a young group.”

The incoming manager’s opinion will be key for the next moves made with Dan Butterworth and Tyler Magloire.

One-year options were taken up on the pair who featured in the first half of the season for Rovers before their respective January loan moves.

For 22-year-old Butterworth it was a first taste of life away from Ewood Park, but he struggled to make an impact during a half season stay with League One side Fleetwood Town.

Magloire, aged 23, is no stranger to a loan move and was establishing himself in the Northampton Town side before injury struck after 10 appearances, leading to his return to Rovers.


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