Well with the season for Rovers finally over, the time has come for preparation for next season. Life back in the championship is not going to be easy, teams are constantly getting stronger and essentially we are looking at a division stronger than most European leagues out there. Tony Mowbray is due to visit India in an attempt (You can only assume) to try and pry some transfer money from the poultry covered, uncaring hands of the Venkey’s. For whatever reason last season they decided to cough up (I’m still suspicious) so surely they will this time round in a higher division? I wouldn’t be so sure. With the dreaded ‘E’ word starting to surface from a dodgy paper extract maybe we won’t have that much money to spend at all? If that’s the case Mowbray is going to have to plunge again like many previous mangers into the free agents market. I really hope this isn’t the case but as a Rovers fan I’m always going to be prepared for the worst. So I present ‘10 of the best and most realistic free agent/cheap transfers that Rovers I make this summer’ The title is a work in progress… I will be taking into consideration: Positions we need most, financial strength, would they realistically join?, and the new and stronger pulling power of the club. You’ve got to admit we are in a much stronger position to tempt players than we were 2 years ago. Essentially 10 will be most unlikely and 1 would be most likely.
#10: Nedum Onuoha
Starting up this list and bringing up the rear is the QPR and Man City veteran Nedum Onuoha. The 31 year old man mountain has confirmed that he will be leaving QPR this summer and has instantly become the target of a host of clubs like: Rangers, Sunderland and Leeds. I believe that he would be an amazing signing for Blackburn and not to far-fetched either, if he would be willing to drop down a league to go an in-turmoil Sunderland then surely he would come to a Blackburn squad currently at an all time high (moral wise anyway) we need reinforcement at the back as it has been made clear by a lot fans that they are not confident in our current back 4 and Onuoha would be a sure fire way to solidify a largely inexperienced back line. They only thing going against us here is money. After this week we may or may not have any depending on the results of Mowbray's talk in India, but considering that Onuoha joined QPR during their money spending 2012 season I would imagine that his wages have been very and would have to take a significant drop to join Rovers.
#9: Chung-Yong Lee
To this day Blackburn have never had an Asian footballer but 29 year old Chuing-Yong Lee could be the first. The South Korean is out of contract in the summer and has already spoken about his desire to stay in Europe. The 29 year old has not been a regular for Crystal palace this season after suffering an injury early on. You would wonder why he would go from Blackburn to the North West but he is no stranger to the area after having played for Bolton between 2009 -15. I would also say that money might not be a massive issue after very nearly re-joining Bolton this summer but chose to see out his contract at Selhurst park in the end. The hardworking skillful winger could be great edition to the team if the likes of Chapman don't end up returning to the club next season. But he features so low just because I imagine there would be a lot of interest for the player around the whole of Europe as well as the UK.
#8: Steven Taylor & #7: Wes Hoolahan
The next two on the list are very much Peter Whittingham esc, and are both here for the same reason hence why I've put them in the same place. Both considered veterans of their older clubs Newcastle and Norwich I think both still do a job at Championship level and both I add a bit of quality to the team that Blackburn will need on our Championship return. Probably Hooligan would be more preferable than Taylor considering their positions and quality but there will be no doubt that Taylor will be playing for a team in the championship next season after not getting promoted with Peterborough this season and Hoolahan will defiantly be looking for a squad where he is guaranteed playing time which he would probably get at Blackburn considering our current midfield options. They are higher up this list mainly because I didn't think we would get Peter Whittingham but we did and Mowbray seems to have respect for the more experienced players.
#6: Kazenga Lua Lua
This is more of a personal preference but is more likely to happen than I originally thought LuaLua has only played 22 games in the past two season after battling for fitness issues and after Sunderland's relegation is very unlikely to extend his stay with the Black Cats. I really like LuaLua because of his speed and skills that you only find in 1 in 100 players. He has been unfortunate to have been thrust into a position in Sunderland where his fitness has still been recovering whilst also being part of a poisoned Sunderland team. His best seasons seem far away but at 27 he could potentially still have his best season ahead, if there was one man who could turn his career back round is big TM.
#5: Youssouf Mulumbu
A name that a lot will know but wont know that he is currently playing for Kilmarnock. The Congolese international has had a great season in Scotland becoming a fan favorite with his consistent and high level performances. Another central midfielder I think that Mulumbu would be a solid back up in the championship instead of the regular replacments of the on-again, off-again Corry Evans. Another factor would be how Tony Mowbray was the man who signed Mulumbu for West Brom back in 2009, Mulumbu would be named West Broms player of the season 2 years later. Mowbray knows him, he's affordable and would be a solid back up at least.
#4: Marvin Emnes
No, this isn't a joke, I'm serious and I have good reason to be so. Marvin Emnes flourished under Tony's management at Middlesbrough and has obviously already been at Blackburn where most of the fans seemed to love him. He hasn't enjoyed life since leaving Rovers in turkey only playing a handful of games and eventually cutting his contract short meaning he is now looking for a new club. I think he could potentially do well in a return plus the fact we desperately need a new striker which is the theme that this list takes from this point onward. A potential Mowbray, Emnes connection could be exciting and I imagine the Dutch striker would be all to open for a return.
#3: Marcus Maddison
Marcus Maddison has ,to the frustration of the Peterborough fans, been put on the transfer list after not achieving promotion from league one. He scored 10 goals and managed a staggering 21 assists last term, he will be looking for a move into the Championship and will be affordable from league 1. He could be a great edition to a Rovers team at only 24 and very flexible position wise but with 21 assists to his name last year he is no stranger to getting in on a goal. In 182 games for Peterborough he has scored 46 goals and assisted 64 so having been involved directly in 110 goals in 182 games would without a doubt make his a great edition to the team and whichever striker we have starting next year.
#2: Erhun Oztumer
Another potential gem from league 1 Erhun Oztumer has just announced that he wants leave Walsall this year and will not be signing a new contract with Walsall. We were reportedly interested in him last summer but nothing came of it. He has been one of the best players in league one for the past 2 years but has not for whatever reason been picked up by a higher level club with 95 appearances, 32 goals and 14 assists in the last 2 seasons he is very much like Bradley Dack. he is only 26 and wont be demanding a massive wage. If we dont grab him someone else will and you just know he'll end up scoring against us next year. I really think we should try to get this guy and can see no reason why we couldn't get him.
#1: Dylan McGeouch
Its funny and you probably won't believe me but as I was looking for players to put on this list I came across McGeouch thought he looked like a good player and added him before I realized that he was already strongly linked to us. I knew that there was a player from Scotland that had a link to us but didn't realize it was him. Anyway, Dylan McGeouch the now Scottish international was reluctantly admitted by Neil Lennon to be leaving Hibs at the end of his current contract. This was followed quickly by the news story that he had already signed a pre-contract agreement with us. He tops this list because at this moment in time he looks to be the player most likely to join us first. But is he any good? Well I do watch a lot of Scottish football and this is what I think. He is a very hard working, fast passed and well seasoned player. He is very much like a central midfield version of Craig Conway and I love Craig Conway. Someone who is willing to work hard and put their lives on the line for their team. Its that ferocious Scottish spirit that you only get from Scotland. He doesn't get loads of goals and assists but imagine a crazy mix between Smallwood and Conway. I can't describe him any better! He's a very Mowbray player and it would not surprise me to see him line up against his old club when Rovers play Hibs in July.
So there you have it, 10 players that that we I sign this summer for relatively little money. You may notice iv'e not included the like of Jack Payne, Harry Chapman or Adam Armstrong simply because i wanted too though some names that you've maybe not considered in to the ring. Do you think we've got a chance too sign any of these players? Is there anyone obvious that I've missed out? Please leave a comment! Did you like the read did you not? Please leave a comment! Thanks for reading!