Jon Dahl Tomasson believes Sam Szmodics can get even better after the midfielder signed a new deal at Rovers.

Szmodics has been in fine form since the start of the campaign and Tomasson hailed his impact, both on and off the pitch.

“I like Sammie as a player and as a person as well,” he said. “I think he has got more mature in football, in terms of doing the right things.

“He can play with few touches, he can score goals and create chances. He always works his socks off for Rovers and those are some good qualities.

“He is a pleasure to be around in the dressing room, he is always in a good mood. He is a funny person and, of course, he is one of the senior players as well.

“I think his development has been really good over time. When you come to a new club, you need to get used to things and it took him maybe half a year. After that, he hasn’t looked back and he’s been doing really great.”

The 28-year-old has maintained his prolific form, finding the net four times in his last three Championship appearances.

“He is scoring goals and he is an important player,” Tomasson added. “With this young group, he is one who knows exactly what to do.

“One of the things Sam can do is the ‘concrete’ things during games. A top, top player does it nine or 10 times out of 10, and he is doing it seven times which is really good at this level. I am really pleased with Sammie and his performances.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Szmodics has become a leader in the Rovers campSzmodics has become a leader in the Rovers camp (Image: Camerasport)

He continued: “I always try to push my players and have high demands. I will keep on pushing Sammie to become even better, that is always the mindset you should have.”

Szmodics has had an interesting journey in the game, having spent several years cutting his teeth in League Two with Colchester. He also had a loan spell

“It is a beautiful story,” Tomasson smiled. “As a football player, young or even a bit older, it is all about being able to learn and improve.

“If you have that mindset and quality, you can improve over time and I think Sammie is a very food example of that.”

While new contracts are important from a business perspective, the Rovers boss also believes players who have made key contributions on the pitch should be rewarded for their efforts.

“For the club, it is important to protect their assets and the value of players,” he explained. “We need to create better players and create value, and it is also important to give them contracts.

“My idea about football is if you do well and work hard for the club, you need a better contract. We should always have that mindset as a club, if players are doing really well for the club we also need to give them something back.”

Director of football Gregg Broughton also praised Szmodics’ impact since his arrival in East Lancashire 18 months ago.

“When we signed Sam, we had identified that we needed to add both athleticism and another goal threat to the squad and he has given us both of these qualities,” he said.

“As a leader and a personality within our group, his impact this season has also been first class. We look forward to watching his continued development with Blackburn Rovers.”