Blackburn’s summer business gives cheery Steve Kean a reason to smile
Steve Kean’s unyielding confidence might finally have achieved a contagious quality because things look almost encouraging for Blackburn. At the very least, the disastrous summer that many were prophesising appears to have been avoided.
The Kean fan club at Ewood Park will probably point out that his continued presence in the dugout despite overseeing their relegation is a palisade to any positivity, but as far as the transfer market is concerned, things have been mildly uplifting.
Junior Hoilett (to QPR) and Yakubu (to Chinese side Guangzhou) are the only probable starters to have fled since their fall into the Championship and, as Rovers’ two main assets, both were always likely to depart.
The players who have been brought in have been of a far higher quality or profile than was expected too, and the majority wouldn’t have been frowned at if they were still in the Premier League.
Up front they have signed Leon Best, who was starting for Newcastle when they made their stunning start last season, for a rumoured fee of £3 million and Nuno Gomes, who though now 36 averaged a goal every three games in Portugal over the last three campaigns.
However, the most impressive capture has been that of Fulham captain Danny Murphy, who credited Kean’s persistence and enthusiasm with persuading him to drop down a division.
Another 30-something with experience at the top level could yet follow, as Blackburn have been named as one of the teams considering free agent Harry Kewell.
There is also a semblance of structure at the top too after the arrival of Derek Shaw as managing director and Paul Agnew as operations director, while a crowd-pleasing addition to the coaching staff has been made in Colin Hendry.
Blackburn are 11/1 to win the Championship and 4/1 to secure promotion.