John Eustace has insisted it will cost a lot of money for anyone to sign Sam Szmodics from Blackburn Rovers this summer.

The Championship's top goal-scorer is likely to be the talk of the rumour mill washhouse after netting 33 goals for Rovers in all competitions. Szmodics signed a new contract with the club in November, which ties him until 2026 with the option of a further year.

Without Szmodics' goals, Rovers would have been in deep trouble. He netted 45 per cent of their Championship output, including 10 of their last 13 goals during the run-in.

Rovers have struggled to get other players to step up to the plate. Injuries to the likes of Ryan Hedges, Tyrhys Dolan and Sam Gallagher haven't helped but, equally, nobody else has stepped up.

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Eustace has challenged others to provide more for the team and also insisted Szmodics won't be leaving for cheap.

"He's the only one who has stood up and managed to be clinical enough," Eustace told The Lancashire Telegraph.

"The rest of the squad haven't been clinical enough but the work rate and effort has been there to see.

"Gally's work rate off the ball is sensational, it's very important from set-pieces too. Ty (Dolan) runs his socks off. The impact of the subs as well coming on.

"It's about the squad but it will cost a hell of a lot of money for Sammie to go, of course it will."

Szmodics' two goals at The King Power Stadium were typical of the Rovers forward. The first, a driving run with a mix of perseverance and quality to scamper away and finish.

The second was an opportunistic effort, hanging behind the defence, in his own half, to race through and round the goalkeeper.

It's not just Szmodics' goals that impress but his leadership. Both in terms of his work rate without the ball and his impact in the dressing room, having been promoted to vice-captain after Lewis Travis' January loan move.

"He's been amazing and every team needs a goal-scorer, they need one or two and we have one at the moment," Eustace said on Szmodics.

"He has been sensational, I have spoken about his work rate and his endeavour. When you work as hard as he does for the team, you get your results.

"He's filled in different areas, his enthusiasm around the dressing room is great. The way he applies himself on the training field and in games, it pays off.

"What a sensational return of goal. It doesn't matter where he plays, he's very clinical, his first goal today was outstanding. The way he took it, great composure. He deserved the second goal as well."