IT may not be the most glamorous of starts to George John’s Premier League career, but just a glance at the man he will probably be sitting in the stands with tonight is enough reason for hope.

The Greek-American defender could well be at Ewood Park tonight to watch this evening’s Carling Cup second round tie against Sheffield Wednesday, with him expected to undergo a medical earlier in the day, and it would be easy for most of the Rovers faithful to not have a clue who he is.

Club skipper Ryan Nelsen, set to be rested this evening, was the last player to make the trip from Major League Soccer to Blackburn.

Some six years and more than 200 appearances later, Kean knows if John can have half as much of an impact, he has got a bargain.

The 6ft 3ins FC Dallas defender was never going to be signed in time to feature in this evening’s tie but, with Kean confident the defender is close to striking a deal, the Rovers boss believes he will be arriving ready to make his Premier League impact.

Kean said: “We have always been looking for a replacement for Phil Jones and George John is a very imposing figure and we think he can fill the void left by Phil.

"It is a very big void and big boots to fill.

“We have a scout who is based in America and he has been getting rave reviews and I have seen him myself a few times as well.

"This scout has been very involved in Ryan Nelsen and a number of other players coming out of the MLS so we are fortunate enough to have him working for us.

“For any lad that comes from that league. They know everything about the league it is so massive out there.

"They have an added advantage they can speak the language.

“They have a great work ethic and are marvellous lads to work with.

"They seem to be highly intelligent on taking on information. Most of them improve.

“They are value for money. If you can get them out, which is not always easy with players from the MLS, they come on competitive salaries. Normally they do well.

“Ryan has been amazing for the club. For what we paid for him and for what we have paid him and you look at what he has given to the club it has been tremendous value. He is such a leader.”

“He is a leader and if not the best, one of the best defenders in the MLS.”

While a glimpse of the future is expected to be in the stands, Kean will also be boosted for this evening’s visit of League One Wednesday by the news of a return for his walking wounded.

French centre back Gael Givet is expected to return from illness for his first start of the season, while inspirational skipper Chris Samba is rated touch and go for the clash, having returned to training from a groin injury.

Kean said: “Chris is going to be touch and go but Gael has trained 100 per cent.

"Chris is positive about the place, he has a smile on his face, has trained excellently and if he doesn’t make this one hopefully he makes Saturday and then hopefully the phone doesn’t ring.

“You get different types of leader. Ryan Nelsen isn’t as vocal as you would imagine, like Chris and Gael.

"They are not the most outspoken guys but what they do is give you a performance that gives you everything they have got.

“They get about their business quietly. Our back four at the end of last season was quite solid.

"Then you take a lot of that apart then you see how solid and reliable they are.

“This game has come around at the perfect time because we have players who need a game. Gael has not played, Chris has not played.

"You have players on the fringes, so I am delighted it is coming around.”