IT was heartening to see David Raya, John O’Sullivan and Darragh Lenihan break into the Blackburn Rovers first team toward the end of the season.

The club has a rich history of producing players from within and the trio will start the new campaign as bona-fide members of Gary Bowyer’s senior squad.


But who will be the next youngster off the Brockhall conveyor belt of talent that is beginning to crank back into action?

We pick out three players who have the potential to make an appearance for the first team before the end of next season is out.


The powerful and pacy defender has the physique of a player far older than his 17 years. An unused substitute in the FA Cup against Liverpool and on the final day of the Championship campaign, Nyambe has been identified as one to watch by departing Rovers hero David Dunn.

And with the club not exactly blessed with natural right-backs to rival Adam Henley, Nyambe’s pathway to the first team is clearer than most.

Expect him to be involved in pre-season.


The two-footed winger made Rovers history last season when he became the third youngest player in the club’s history. An international call-up and a professional contract soon followed.

The 18-year-old has not been able to hit the same dizzy heights this season but, with another year’s experience under his belt, next season could be the one when he truly breaks through.

Mahoney could well go out on loan first, though.


The 17-year-old, like many of his U21s team-mates, is still very young, but his tireless and diligent displays have certainly caught the eye of the first-team coaching staff.

The rangy striker has already proved he can score goals at U18s level, which he is still eligible to play at next season, and now the aim is to find the net more regularly on the U21s stage.