Date: 2nd January 2007 at 8:05pm
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The annual January sales are upon us again and traditionally this is the time when Mark Hughes works some magic to find ‘cheap as chips` bargains.

Ryan Nelsen, Aaron Mokoena and David Bentley are three that stand out and Hughes will be aiming to improve the squad further with similar deals. However, as the transfer rumour mill goes into overdrive, I can`t help but feel concerned regarding Rovers` ability to attract quality players to the club.

Granted Hughes has pulled off two major coups in his time as manager of Rovers, convincing first Craig Bellamy and more recently, Benni McCarthy, that their futures lie at Ewood Park, but it seems a number of other players reject the chance. Alas, before we signed McCarthy, Rovers fans had to endure the long summer saga with Mido.

He was highlighted as the club`s first choice striker and after a fee was agreed with Roma it looked inevitable that he would become a Rovers player. However, after months of dithering Mido eventually decided to stay with Roma and hope for a bid from Tottenham. His wish was granted and he is now enjoying himself with the Tottenham reserves.

Another exciting prospect seemingly passed up the chance to play for Rovers in the summer; Antonio Valencia, who eventually signed for Wigan. More recently, and the catalyst for this article, was the decision from highly rated Norwegian midfielder, Kristofer Haestad, to opt for Wigan instead of Rovers.

This came as a shock to me as I have long admired the attributes of Haestad and was adamant he would sign for Rovers. So why hasn`t he? Everything seemed in place for him to join his band mate, Morten Gamst Pedersen at Rovers.

I can only hope that Hughes pulled out of any deal but I can`t understand why. The mooted transfer of David Dunn will be resolved in the next couple of weeks but Haestad has the potential to be Robbie Savage`s replacement. He is a tough tackling midfield player with plenty of energy and flair. He would have provided additional options in midfield, the area Rovers are lacking in the most.

Haestad has only joined Wigan on loan but that makes even more perplexing reading as to why Hughes didn`t take up that option, being such an advocate of that approach to bringing players in.

My concern is that he in fact opted for Wigan over Rovers and could that have been down to something Gamst has said? If he actually did decide to choose another club as notorious other targets such as Mido did then that doesn`t bode well for Rovers.

With a number of players linked with Rovers how many will actually see the club as an attractive prospect?


20 Replies to “Rovers Rejection”

  • As much as I fully trust Hughes and his judgement I am becoming a tad concerned that we sometimes struggle to attract average players, let alone quality players to the club.

  • Some players (Mido for example) would only want to use the club as a stepping stone or ask for too much; and with the millions not available to Rovers we have to work to a budget. We could end up like Leeds if we dive in couldn’t we. Our geographical location doesn’t help to a degree, but we are much like most other clubs in the League that the real top players only want to go to the real top clubs in the League. For this to happen we have to be one of these giants, but to do this we need the players, for this we need consistent League placements, its tough but signs are that maybe we could start doing this?

  • Also I only want players to play for the club that want to be here, I know its a job to them all when all is said and done but if they don’t want to be here then we don’t want them. regarding the Haestad deal if he wouldn’t get in then would it have even been worth him arriving? MGP’s long term future is away from Ewood I’m sure and if the chance came up for him to go I think he’d take it without thinking too much about it so this follows the lines you say about him maybe talking to his good friend Haestad?

  • I don’t know really, can’t make my mind up on Mido. He cost us FAR too many months in the summer by not deciding what to do hence we missed out on strengthening other areas as a result, namely midfield. Mido and McCarthy could be some partnership but I couldn’t see him staying for long as he doesn’t stay many places for very long!

  • Believe me sandgroanun ALL Rovers fans would hate to lose Nelsen, just missing him trough injury is bad enough!

  • I dont think Blackburn has trouble attracting players, Mido always wanted to head back to Spurs so thats nothing to worry about, Hestad going on loan is nothing really to worry about either, maybe Hughes wants to see wot he can do in the 1st team of a premier league side b4 buying, or maybe he has better options on the cards

  • Lads… Remember that there are loads of factors that players consider, the ones alreadt mentioned include Location, Money and Profile of a club. But also there is a degree of how often will they play first team football. Haestad is probably guaranteed that at Wigan, where as at Blackburn he is going to have to compete with Bentley, Reid, Savage, Tugay and even The Axe. Sometimes players who want to make a name or reinvent themselves (like Bellars) will go to a club “with potential”. As well as that, the club itself can influence a player, who plays there, the manager (and we can’t ask for better), the training facilities, etc…

  • I for one didn’t want to see Mido at Rovers, I don’t like cocky, full of themselves, players like him, with ego’s that would fill Ewood Park. Benni has proven to be far far better.

  • We went after Hæstad. Im following Rovers closely from both Norway and the UK and the only reason he turned us down was to play more matches – which Jewell promised him. We got a similar player in Savage, and with Tugay, Reid, Mokoena og possibly Dunn there would be stiff competition for the young lad. When Coming into the Premiership as a loan player its vital that u play…if u dont youre easily forgotten. Im a keen admirerer of Hæstad both as a player and a person. Amazing work rate! I do think he could sign for Rovers in the future…after all theres not that many years left in Tugay and Savage 😉

  • I think we can attract better than average players. Roberts and McCarthy and Bellamy are hardly bad players are they?!!?!?! We do well for the amount of money that we have. Oh and just in case anyone else has forgotten… Nelsen is God.

  • You don’t join a side on loan unless you know you’ll play do you, this happened with Antonio Valencia (a player that I’ve liked when I’ve seen him for Wigan.) He’s still someone I think we could sign when his loan ends, the same applies to Haetad; we can watch him from the outside looking in then MGP (so long as he stays long term) can convince him that Ewood Park is a better option than the JJB! Also welcome to Vital Blackburn Reidy85!

  • Until we prove our consitency its always going to be hard to attract the World Class players isn’t it, but this is the same for most other teams besides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United isn’t it. Average players the likes of Roberts and Benni and Bellers before them suit me fine 🙂 To coin a phrase from the Beatles “Nelsen is bigger than God!” I may well go to hell for this…

  • Well guys a good response here. I just thought I’d throw it out there. Im in agreement with many of you in saying that I want players here who want to play for Rovers and Benni is a great example of a top foreigner coming and wanting to do well for Rovers. Hughes does have a knack of bringing in good players but it would be encouraging to see some younger lads brought in maybe?!?!

  • You have to work for the here and now which is often leading Sparky to purchase the how shall I say it mature man but you have to try and also look beyond this don’t you so if he has to buy in buying some younger players for both now and the future would be nice so without doubt I’d agree that some younger lads being brought in would be great and ideally from within the club. Derbyshire is proving he can handle it I wonder how many others could but are being shielded? I’m not saying I want a mass influx of youngsters from the academy and reserves but gradually easing some in would be nice wouldn’t it? If you’re good enough your old enough as they say!

  • Indeed. I agree about the youth system though. im very excited about De Vita and kevin Pezzoni, although kevin is still very young. I think Peter and Derbyshire have big futures wioth the club.

  • I totally agree with you on Peter and Deryshire. De Vita SHOULD start to make inroads into the first team next season I think. Don’t know a lot about Pezzoni though. Keita is another that I’m looking forward to seeing more of and will be interested to see if Garner can replicate what Derbyshire has done?

  • News just in……………………..Chelsea in £9m bid for Watford’s points during January Transfer Window

    Chelsea moved to the top of the Premiership this morning after
    successfully buying Watford’s points. The £9m transfer came as a
    surprise to the rest of the Premiership, but with Watford already
    having given up any hope of staying in the Premiership, the
    purchase of all their points benefits both clubs.

    Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon commented “These ten points are
    exactly the sort of boost the club needs at the moment and could be
    the difference that helps us retain the Premiership. For Watford,
    money will allow them to rebuild their squad to have another tilt at
    promotion next year. As they say you can’t take them with you”

    The champions now have 45 points, although their goal difference has
    of course suffered, particular considering the four goals that
    now conceded against Chelsea. But the transfer puts them four points
    ahead of Manchester United who are now rumoured to be in
    with Charlton over a loan of some of their points until the end of

    Chelsea’s share value rose after the news. However the company fell
    several places on the FTSE 100 index after they were deducted points
    for fielding an illegible accountant.

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