Blackburn Rovers' retained list threw up few surprises as John Eustace begins to plot his squad for next season.

Of the four senior players, the contracts of Sam Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan were extended by 12 months. The club also remain in talks with Kyle McFadzean and John Fleck about fresh terms.

It was a sad day for some of the Under-21s, many of whom will have been with the club since a very young age. This is not the end of their careers but the next chapter and part of the natural circle of life in football.

Rovers will sit down with Dolan and Gallagher over the summer to thrash out their futures. Whilst these extensions were anticipated, it only kicks the can down the road.

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The club are well aware of that and that is why new deals were offered to both. Rovers first made a contract offer to Dolan at the end of last year but that deal was not accepted or outrightly declined.

Talks then paused whilst Dolan focused on rediscovering his best form after a tricky start to the season. The 22-year-old spoke bravely about the impact this had on his mental health; a reminder of how impressive he is as a young man for his age.

The goals started to flow but a knee injury ruled Dolan out for two months. By the time he returned, Rovers had slid down the table and suddenly fears of relegation were a possibility.

At that time, it made little sense for Dolan or Rovers to commit to a new contract, which is only natural.

With Gallagher, a five-month injury lay-off with two separate calf issues delayed any immediate resolution to his future. Ipswich came with bids up to £1.5million in January but the club felt they wouldn't be able to replace their senior striker in that window.

The 28-year-old signed his last contract on pre-pandemic wages and is one of Rovers' top earners. He is now 28 and has averaged 8.8 goals in the Championship over his last five seasons.

It's obvious that Gallagher offers far more than goals to this team. His work rate is commendable and his size, athleticism and stature make him a nuisance to play against. Managers love him.

His availability has been an issue during his time at Ewood Park, though. He managed 24 appearances last term, 34 and 37 in the seasons before.

Jon Dahl Tomasson spoke regularly about needing to manage his body and workloads, to ensure he doesn't break down. So with all that factored in, any new contract would, you'd anticipate, be on reduced terms. 

Whether he stays or goes, Gallagher needs more support and another striker to arrive who can ease the burden of leading the line. Far too often, Rovers have been overreliant on him, albeit less for goals.

For both players, the equation will be simple. Sign new deals or the club will listen to offers. That's how it should be, anyway.

Offering a new deal to McFadzean makes complete sense, to me. We've long lobbied that the 37-year-old would be worthy of another 12 months considering what he can offer on and off the pitch for Rovers.

The arguments in Fleck's case are less compelling due to his injury record. The last 18 months of his career have been blighted and he only lasted 17 minutes before an unfortunate injury led to him needing shin surgery.

Considering they have Lewis Travis to consider in the midfield set-up next season, the terms would have to be right for Fleck to stay on. Clearly, if they can keep him fit, he would be an asset given his Championship experience.

Any suggestion, and you take everything with a pinch of salt on social media, that he was on or would command a huge salary is wide of the mark. Fleck signed a six-month deal on deadline day and Rovers would hardly have invested upwards of £15K a week to do that deal.

Of the fledgling Academy prospects, the decision to allow Ben Fyles and Charlie Weston to leave will have been the toughest. The former is recently back from a serious knee injury and Weston was on the periphery of the first team under Tomasson.

There were few shocks in the retained list but everyone already knows that the bigger decisions are just around the corner.