Report this comment
  • "Players normally perform better on loan than when they sign permanently. Gresko anyone? I don't understand the 'he can play out wide' line? So could I, but I would also be sh1t. And I didn't realise £5-10k was cheap these days?! For a journeyman who will be 3rd choice at best."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

Paul Wheelock column: It is too early to write Luke Varney off as an unnecessary addition

Luke Varney

Luke Varney

First published in Sport This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Blackburn Rovers reporter

LUKE Varney is not a signing that has set the fans’ pulses racing.

But it is far too premature to write the striker, whose arrival will be confirmed once his contract at Leeds runs out, off as an unnecessary addition to Gary Bowyer’s squad.

Granted Varney did not pull up any trees in his initial four-month loan spell.

But his failure to shine had less to do with his application and more to do with the dramatic transformation of Rudy Gestede into one of the Championship’s most feared front man.

And for all of Gestede’s undoubted potential few outside the canny Rovers coaching camp could honestly say they saw that coming when Varney belatedly arrived at Ewood Park on February 8.

Just three starts and nine substitute appearances followed.

But while Varney may not have won over the fans, his attitude and professionalism have certainly won favour with his manager and his team-mates alike.

And with another of Bowyer’s possible targets, Liam Feeney, having moved to Bolton – another player who, understandably, Rovers supporters had serious question marks over – Varney’s ability to play out wide also counts in his favour.

As does the fact that, like a number of Bowyer’s signings, he will sign a contract, in the £5,000 to £10,000-per-week wage bracket, that befits a club in the Championship.

Gone are the disastrous days of the summer of 2012 when, under the Shebby Singh-led regime, £30,000-per-week deals were handed out willy-nilly.

Rovers are still paying for those days and will be for two years yet, unless they can somehow shift the likes of Leon Best and Dickson Etuhu this summer.

Reducing the wage bill still has to be owners Venky’s and boss Bowyer’s priority this summer.

But they cannot afford to stand still either and it is imperative they work together to bolster a promising squad that ended the campaign unbeaten in 12 games.

Thanks to Bowyer’s astute work in the transfer work it is a squad which, providing there are no major unexpected losses, that realistically needs only a right back and cover at centre back.

But do not be surprised at the arrival of one or two more squad players – players who are able to operate in a variety of positions and who will not rock the boat if they do not make the starting line-up every week.

Players like Varney.

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree