If you’re an emerging prospect who has yet to taste professional football and need an example of how to behave when joining a new club on loan, Sam Burns is your man.
The young Blackburn Rovers striker joined Scunthorpe United on loan at the start of the January window and Burns has endeared himself to more than League Two strugglers, not only thanks to his obvious skills and goalscoring skills , but making the extra effort to settle into his new surroundings.
Gaining the trust of Keith Hill, Burns has started Scunthorpe’s last two games and scored a brace in their 3-2 loss to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.
Six points behind Colchester United in 22nd after playing two more games, the Irons face an uphill battle if they are to avoid relegation to the National League and yet such circumstances can only be beneficial for Burns’ development .
The 19-year-old has obviously embraced the circumstances and with two goals now to his name, it is hoped the striker can replicate his prolific Premier League 2 form in the fourth tier for the rest of the campaign.
On his performance against Bristol Rovers, Hill said: “I’m so happy for Sam Burns because he got his reward of two goals.
“He ran hard, worked hard, was humble and scored both of his goals.
“I’m really happy for him. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (with things like that).”
And Burns’ success so far is a valuable inspiration to other young members of the Rovers squad looking for an opportunity to prove themselves elsewhere.
Connor McBride, who had a loan move to a League One club lined up earlier in the window only for it not to materialise, would benefit greatly from regular first-team football and Rovers risk limiting his development s he was relegated to the under-23s. for the rest of the campaign.
Jack Vale is in a similar boat, the forward is on a short-term loan spell with Halifax Town and the striker has no shortage of potential suitors in the National League. Finding a club that will help Vale rediscover its promising trajectory is easier said than done.
And then there is Dan Butterworth, who poses a much more complex situation.
Rovers are aware the 21-year-old needs the experience of regular, competitive first-team football and Butterworth was set to join a Ligue 1 club on loan last week until the news of Dilan Markanday’s season-ending injury surface.
With Tyrhys Dolan also out for several weeks and Ben Brereton Diaz on international duty, Tony Mowbray made the decision to retain Butterworth given his depleted attacking options.
Rovers are looking for a versatile term option in the remaining days of the transfer window as they look to bolster their options, but one addition is unlikely to be enough to sanction a Butterworth loan.
An opportunity for the promising Academy graduate could arise this weekend against Luton Town – Butterworth played the final 25 minutes against Middlesbrough on Monday replacing Reda Khadra – but from an individual perspective the advantages of regular starts in Ligue 1 outweigh a somewhat partial role. from the bench.
After enduring 18 months with back problems and injuries, Butterworth has had to catch up and with his current contract expiring this summer he is eager to impress.
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