Liverpool midfielder Leighton Clarkson has joined Blackburn on a season-long loan, with the hope being that he will enjoy similar success to Harvey Elliott at Ewood Park.
Elliott spent last season on loan with Rovers, and after scoring seven and assisting 11 in 42 games for the Championship club has returned as part of Jurgen Klopp‘s first team.
The Reds have fostered a strong relationship with Blackburn in recent years, with the proximity between the two clubs making organising friendlies and agreeing loan deals mutually beneficial.
That will continue this season as Clarkson joins Tony Mowbray’s side for the rest of the campaign, in what is the 19-year-old’s first temporary move.
Clarkson, a boyhood Blackburn fan, made his debut for Liverpool in the 5-0 loss to Aston Villa in the League Cup in 2019, but his first real outing for the senior side came in the 1-1 draw with Midtjylland in last season’s Champions League.
Klopp holds the teenager in high regard, comparing him to Germany legend Philipp Lahm, and he has trained with the first team on a regular basis over the past two seasons.
A move to Blackburn will allow him to cut his teeth as a consistent starter in the Championship, with the switch to Rovers a signal of his potential as a young player.
The hope will be that Clarkson – who also scored five goals and laid on four assists in 17 starts for Liverpool’s under-23s last term – can make a big step during his time under Mowbray.
It could be that he then returns as a full-time member of Klopp’s senior squad, with there a need for youth in the first-team setup moving forward as the likes of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Thiago are all over 30.
Blackburn have begun the Championship season with a 2-1 win over Swansea and, most recently, a 1-1 draw with Millwall, while they were knocked out of the League Cup by Morecambe.
Their next game – which could bring Clarkson’s debut – is away to Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.
Good luck, Leighton!