It sounds as though Leighton Clarkson will spend next season on loan at Blackburn Rovers. That’s a deal that piles pressure on the teenager.
Lancashire Live sound fairly confident that Leighton Clarkson will be with Blackburn Rovers for the 2021/22 campaign. They name him as one of two main targets this summer.
Clarkson is in a strange position at Liverpool and a loan certainly makes sense. His position – a deep-lying midfielder – effectively puts him behind Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, James Milner and Naby Keita in the pecking order.
That’s not a group he’ll get many games over. Not unless there’s another serious injury crisis this season.
But Clarkson is undoubtedly talented. He’s already played three times for Liverpool, despite the competition, and completed a full 90 minutes in the Champions League last season.
So Liverpool do have a good young player here – they’re just not going to give him games. Without those games, Clarkson won’t develop properly.
This loan is a good idea, then. Though, they’ve picked a particularly pressure-filled place.
Leighton Clarkson to Blackburn?
You can completely understand why Liverpool would want to loan a youngster to Blackburn. They sent Harvey Elliott there last season, after all, with fantastic results.
Elliott thrived in what was his first full senior season at just 17. 11 assists and four goals is a magnificent record, all things considered.
Liverpool can trust Blackburn to develop their players, then. They can put faith in Tony Mowbray to play them, give them opportunities, and hand responsibility over.
That’s what Clarkson needs, undoubtedly. His position is one that sees him get a lot of the ball and the 19-year-old must learn how to dictate play at senior level.
So in that regard, this will be pressure-filled. At 19, Clarkson doesn’t have too much more time to impress Liverpool and earn a squad place. This might genuinely be his one shot.
And Liverpool know they can send a player to Blackburn and get results, as they did with Elliott. That, again, increases the heat on Clarkson as failure would be his, not Blackburn’s.
We’ll see if Clarkson sinks or swims, then. If it’s the former, we might not see him in a first-team Liverpool game again. If it’s the latter, there’s a decent chance Jurgen Klopp finds room for him.