Blackburn Rovers boss Gary Bowyer is contemplating on whether to bring experienced defender Lucas Neill back to Ewood Park. The 35-year-old is currently available as a free agent after leaving Japanese outfit Omiya Ardija at the end of his contract in November.
The veteran Australian spent six years with Blackburn Rovers between 2001 and 2007, having joined from Millwall, and went on to represent West Ham United and Everton before leaving the Premier League for Galatasaray.
Since leaving Galatasaray in 2011, the Socceroos captain has failed to find a permanent home and has only managed short-lived stints at UAE clubs Al Jazira and Al Wasl as well as Sydney FC and, most recently J League outfit Omiya Ardija. This move may prove a positive one for Lucas, with the socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou stating that any player needs to be playing first team football to make the Australian World Cup squad.
Postecoglou has always voiced his opinion that no player is safe in the squad if they’re not playing at top level. And despite the fact Blackburn may not be playing in the top flight, Postecoglou thinks Neill could benefit from playing for Blackburn if they decide to pursue him.
Postecoglou has said in the past,
If they’re playing well, whether that’s in the A League, whether that’s in Europe, Asia, wherever that may be, I’ll be looking at individuals form, how they’re going and their fitness and they’re the key things I’ll be looking at. To me, that’s more important than the competition they’re playing in.
Lucas Neill remains a popular figure at Ewood Park and Bowyer admits his know-how could prove invaluable if there is a deal to be done, and after being spotted at the home game vs Blackpool on Saturday February 1st, the chances seem likely.
Bowyer told the Lancashire Telegraph:
I’ve said all along you can never say never, and that is the same situation now.
Lucas and myself have been very honest with each other right from the start, we both know where we stand.
If the opportunity for Lucas to join another club comes along, then that is a possibility.
But at the same time, we would have to sort something out if we thought something suited us.
Bowyer was able to bolster his squad during the January window, with Craig Conway among those brought in, however he also saw club captain Scott Dann lured away by the opportunity of playing Premier League football at Crystal Palace.
Scott Dann’s departure opens the gate for another centre half and Neill would be the perfect fit, he has been training with Blackburn for a couple of weeks now and is a very accomplished and experienced player. Having captained Blackburn before, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lucas Neill representing the Lancashire club very soon.