Club Focus – Blackburn Rovers – Kean plans for future as Kahlenberg arrives on trial

Tough tests await Blackburn Rovers for the remainder of the season as they attempt to secure their Premier League status once more; however the Blues are already looking ahead to the prospect of staying up and luring experienced players to Ewood Park.

Rovers have been linked with Brazilian stars Ronaldinho and Luis Fabiano in recent weeks, yet their latest target is far more realistic. 27-year-old Denmark international Thomas Kahlenberg is currently on trial with the Lancashire outfit and is hoping to impress manager Steve Kean and the coaching staff.

The midfielder is currently on the books of German side Wolfsburg, but has been overlooked for selection ever since Englishman Steve McClaren was sacked by the club. Kahlenberg was also suspended by new boss Pierre Littbarski recently for disciplinary reasons, and it appears as though the player will not be returning to Germany anytime soon. Should Rovers decide to take the Danish star on, he would not arrive on a free transfer, but it is unlikely he would command a huge fee with his current club seemingly looking to force a quick sale.

The key question is whether he would be suitable for the Blues and – in the case that Rovers stay up – Premier League football. As an attacking midfielder, Kahlenberg would provide stiff competition for local favourite David Dunn and Argentinean ace Mauro Formica. Dunn is frequently injured while Formica has not yet played for Rovers, and so his own suitability to the pace and intensity of the English league cannot yet be measured. Therefore, Kahlenberg could be a good option for the Blues, who have been lacking creativity down the middle of the park in recent months.

Some will argue that Rovers desperately need to strengthen in the full-back positions before seeking to purchase yet another midfielder. Former Real Madrid man Michel Salgado is a very able player in a technical sense and the experienced Spaniard reads the game extremely well, but his lack of pace can leave him exposed, particularly when coming up against adventurous opposition full-backs and speedy wingers. Gael Givet is a strong option at left-back, but recent injuries and suspensions have meant young Swede Martin Olsson has had to deputise in defence, where he looks vulnerable. After Pascal Chimbonda was released earlier in the area, Kean has limited options when it comes to selecting his full-backs. However, the manager has plenty of players to choose from when it comes to playing in the middle of the park (albeit many of these are defensive midfielders). Supporters will question exactly where Kahlenberg would fit in the grand scheme of things.

Nevertheless, it is not often that you find a European World Cup star available for trial and the Rovers staff should be praised for looking ahead and seeking talented players for next season. Whether Kahlenberg actually joins Blackburn or not remains to be seen, but if he does become a Blue and performs well, then fans should look back to this moment and appreciate the reasoning behind the legwork, which is currently taking place to test whether the midfielder is good enough for Rovers.

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