Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson has been touted with a loan move to boyhood club Blackburn, following the success of Harvey Elliott at Ewood Park last season.
The Reds sanctioned Elliott’s season-long switch to Rovers late in the summer transfer window, and the 18-year-old benefited hugely from the game time in Lancashire.
With seven goals and 11 assists in 42 games for Tony Mowbray’s side, Elliott is hoping to have produced the form and numbers to convince Jurgen Klopp he is ready to step up to Liverpool’s first team.
Blackburn is only 40 miles from Liverpool, and the proximity between the two clubs – along with their Championship status and Mowbray’s management – makes Rovers an ideal destination for young talent from Anfield.
The connection could continue in 2021/22, with the Lancashire Telegraph naming Clarkson as “one possibility” as Blackburn “may look to use their blossoming relationship” with the Reds.
This was followed up by another report from the same publication that suggested an enquiry has been made into the 19-year-old midfielder.
Meanwhile, LancsLive add that Rovers “would consider a loan move” for the lifelong Blackburn supporter, who started in the 1-1 draw with Midjtylland in the Champions League.
Clarkson also took a place on the substitutes’ on seven occasions at senior level last season – three times in the Premier League and four times in the Champions League – while training day in, day out with Klopp’s squad.
Klopp has compared him to Germany legend Philipp Lahm, with The Athletic reporting that he is “a player whom the club feel is playing at a level well beyond his years.”
A dynamic, central midfielder, Clarkson is tenacious off the ball and boasts great technique on it, with his eye for a pass seeing him lay on 13 assists in 31 games in his final full season with the Liverpool under-23s in 2019/20.
Last term, he scored five and assisted four in 17 appearances at academy level, but his time training, travelling and playing with the first team is the real marker of his progress.
It is questionable as to whether he could make the same impact as Elliott at Blackburn, with the Reds’ No. 67 a generational talent in the making, but it could offer him the platform to prove himself.
As a Rovers supporter, Clarkson would relish the opportunity to shine at Ewood Park, before potentially returning to challenge for a midfield berth back at Liverpool.