Blackburn Blog: Hoilett in the shop window
"an immensely talented player who will no doubt take his chance to test himself against better players elsewhere"
April 25th, 2012
In a season of few positives at Blackburn Rovers there has been one shining light; the emergence of Junior Hoilett. However, even this faint glimmer of hope could soon be extinguished.
David Wayne ‘Junior’ Hoilett is quickly turning into one of the most exciting prospects the club has seen in recent times. The youth set up has been extremely beneficial to the club in recent years with Grant Hanley, Hoilett and Phil Jones all emerging from the academy over the last couple of seasons. Unfortunately though, Hoilett’s contract expires this summer and negotiations have proved unsuccessful thus far.
Quite why this contract situation was allowed to happen in the first place is symptomatic of what is happening at Blackburn Rovers. The best players are not being rewarded financially and therefore when player contracts’ run down they begin to look elsewhere. Hoilett is not a late developer or someone the club did not expect to flourish as he has done over the last 18 months. The Canadian born winger has been with the club since he was 13 and after appealing to get him a work permit it seems unbelievable that the club did not tie him to a long term deal then.
At the end of last season when the club was facing relegation it was his contribution that brought survival forBlackburn. His performance against Wolves on the last day of the season left all fans with the feeling that there was something to look forward to after the summer break. Blessed with two good feet, remarkable balance and a wonderful change of pace he has really caught the eye in recent weeks and will surely head to a bigger club this summer.
There are few players in the Premier League, who at 21, have the speed of thought and technical ability to beat defenders as Hoilett possesses. Although right footed his left is very good which makes him incredibly difficult to predict.
Normally when facing a right footed player on the left wing the defender’s first thought is to show him outside, onto his weaker left. This is where he truly excels; his ability to beat the opposing full-back and get to the by-line and provide ammunition for his team mates is very good and will develop further over time. His goal last weekend againstNorwichwas typical of his potential; skipping in from the left wing onto his right foot he was given too much space and curled the ball beautifully into the top right hand corner of the goal.
From a fans point of view it is a shame he has only recently been entrusted to play alongside Yakubu. With the youthful exuberance and ability of Hoilett and the finishing capabilities of his strike partner the club may have found themselves a little further up the table if Steve Kean had tried it sooner.
His return of seven goals and six assists in the Premier League is not mind blowing but is a clear indication that he has great potential. In January 2012 Hoilett was named one of 13 young players to watch by FIFA. A move to a club further up the Premier League table is likely this summer whether Blackburn remain in the top tier of English football or not. He would certainly not look out place atLiverpoolor Tottenham next season and would certainly make them stronger.
It is a shame to see someone so talented perhaps moving on to another club, especially in these circumstances. Similarly to Jones last summer he is an immensely talented player who will no doubt take his chance to test himself against better players elsewhere.
Read the rest of Andy Hunter’s Footballscores.com Blackburn Rovers blog.