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Blackburn Rovers Shopping List: Top Ten January Transfer Targets Analysed

by Adam Davies


Evolution or revolution at Ewood Park?

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Time for new Blackburn Rovers owners to demonstrate their vision for the club?

One would hope so.

Venky’s Group have subsidised two loans in Roque Santa Cruz from Manchester City and Jermaine Johnson from Schalke 04, as well as Herold Goulon on a two year deal.

They have also promised manager Steve Kean limited support in the transfer market, but who would strengthen the ranks at Ewood Park though with the funds available?

Certainly not the mooted moves for either Ronaldinho as a player or Diego Maradona as manager, but here are ten potential transfer options.

1. Victor Ruiz

With Christopher Samba linked with Aston Villa and Arsenal, Blackburn are being linked with plenty of central defenders. One of the more interesting names on that list is Espanyol player Victor Ruiz Torre, who has had a brilliant first half of the season.

His club were 5th in La Liga heading into the winter break, but financial troubles may lead them to sell the 21 year-old for just £4m.

Blackburn would do well to secure the signature of the promising young Spaniard, but they may well have some competition.

2. Mauricio Victorino

According to the Daily Mail, Blackburn are fighting it out with Newcastle for Uruguay defender Mauricio Victorino.

It’s certainly possible, and Victorino had a very fine World Cup indeed, but it is also difficult to see a 5’9″ centre back at Ewood Park. Victorino may well possess a phenomenal leap like Roberto Ayala in his prime, or Tim Cahill today, but his transfer would certainly be a risk.

Teams tend to play the ball on the ground and in front of teams more often on the international stage, but in the Premier League there will be no such luxury.

Victorino may have performed excellently in the World Cup, but to paraphrase what Andy Gray said about Lionel Messi with tongue firmly in cheek: could he do it on a Wednesday night in Stoke?

3. Sebastian Larsson

Blackburn Rovers have someone highly capable of delivering the ball with his left foot in Morten Gamst Pedersen, but with El Hadji Diouf reportedly on his way out – due to not fitting in with the club’s vision of a family image – there will be a vacant space on the right.

His cultured approach and fine delivery make him a useful outlet for his side, but unless he signs a deal he will continue to attract attention.

Larsson is available for around £2m from Birmingham because his contract runs out in the summer. Having failed to agree terms with Newcastle, the move collapsed, but if Venky’s can offer him what he desires.

4. Shaun Wright-Phillips

Shaun Wright-Phillips is widely known to be available in this transfer window, with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini openly admitting his club would welcome offers.

In some ways, the England winger is the antithesis to Sebastian Larsson – speedy and a good dribbler, but often woeful with his passing.

If Blackburn want to add a counterattacking element to their play, they could certainly do worse than Wright-Phillips at £4m, and with his powerful shot he certainly has goals in him.

5. Robbie Keane

Another player with a Birmingham connection, but Robbie Keane will not be joining Alex McLeish’s Blues side.

The club say Keane wanted too much money. The player says he never received an offer.

However, irrespective of the non-move to Birmingham, Robbie Keane is a proven Premier League forward with the 11th most goals in the competition’s history (122). He is also the top scorer ever for the Republic of Ireland with 45 goals from 104 appearances.

Blackburn could certainly use someone of his qualities, but at a mooted £6m he may prove too dear.

6. Mauro Formica

He isn’t Diego Maradona, but he is an Argentine no. 10.

Mauro Formica is rumoured to be on his way to Ewood Park to provide some competition to David Dunn in attacking central midfield. A tricky playmaker for Newell’s Old Boys, Formica was widely expected to secure a £3.5m transfer to Galatasaray in Turkey, but the move fell through.

Perhaps the 22 year-old will find his feet in the Premier League with Blackburn.

7. James Collins

This rumour doing the rounds merely reiterates the possibility of Samba leaving the club, but James Collins of Aston Villa would be a decent signing for Blackburn – and cheap too, particularly if a swap deal can be arranged.

An experienced campaigner with West Ham and Villa, Collins might look a minimum of 40, but in fact is just 27.

Aston Villa’s solid defence last season was built on the brilliant partnership between himself and Richard Dunne, but with Gerard Houllier taking over from Martin O’Neill, the watertight unit has become porous.

Perhaps Steve Kean could be the man to bring Collins back to his best.

8. Nils Petersen

Energie Cottbus striker Nils Petersen was scouted by Sam Allardyce before he was sacked by Blackburn Rovers, and the club continue to be linked to a £2m move.

The 22 year-old plays in the second tier of German football, where he has scored an impressive 19 goals in 33 appearances.

The German striker is 6’2″ and possesses a great leap, but whether he could adapt quickly to the English top flight is a question that remains unanswered.

9. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo

The second Espanyol player in this list, Osvaldo signed for the Spanish club for €5m in August 2010.

The Argentina born player, 25, is a quick striker who has come into his element in La Liga after a nomadic series of moves around Europe. He has seven goals in 14 games so far this season, which is a record that many of Blackburn’s current forward line would envy.

Osvaldo possesses an Italian passport, making a work permit a non-issue, while again Espanyol’s financial problems make any saleable asset potentially on the market.

10. Zinedine Zidane.

Come on now…

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