Sammie extends his Rovers stay!

Sammie extends his Rovers stay!

Blackburn Rovers have continued the celebrations from the weekend by announcing that Sammie Szmodics’ relationship with Rovers is set to continue for at least three more years, after the club and league’s top scorer put pen-to-paper on a new contract which keeps him at the club until 2026, with the Blues holding an option to extend the deal until 2027.

Signed in the summer of 2022, from then-relegated Peterborough United for a reported fee of around £2.5m, the Colchester-born forward has taken to life up north like a duck to water as he has cemented himself as one of the key pillars within the squad, due to his consistent performances on the pitch and his liveliness off it. The hot-shot, who is finally asserting himself in the second division after making his name in the third tier of football, has shown incredibly quality and maturity to take the step up into the Championship, despite just one season in the division, before making the move to Ewood Park.

Since arriving in Lancashire, Szmodics has been the embodiment of the club’s Latin motto: “Arte Et Labore” as the now-28-year-old forward has been able to defy initial supporter expectations and prove his worth to the team, which is what has ultimately led to his new, well-deserved contract. After swapping the Blue of Peterborough for the Blue and White halves of Rovers, Szmodics made an instant impact in his first season, under his new boss, Jon Dahl Tomasson, as he finished his first campaign up north with seven goals and four assists from 41 games as Rovers had a stormer of a season which sadly ended in disappointment, as they missed out on the playoffs on goal-difference, whilst also reaching the FA Cup Quarter Final – a run that saw Szmodics net two en-route.

After asserting himself as a main player at Ewood Park, the infectiously lovable character has grown to become a favourite amongst fans and teammates alike, as his quality continued into 2023-24, with his fantastic performances evolving into outstanding performances, as he currently tops the Sky Bet Championship’s scoring charts with 11 goals from all 17 games that Rovers have played in the league, including four in his last three games, with his latest being the final goal in the 3-0 away victory over Stoke City on Saturday.

Having been trusted with the captaincy this season on numerous occasions, the marksman is openly keen to continue his fine start to the campaign and looking forward to leading out the Blues on more occasions when the opportunity arises, which further encapsulates the bond that the hard-working finisher has with the terraces.

Following the announcement of his extension, the ever boisterous Sammie sat down with RoversTV to reflect on his Rovers career to this date and the current season, as well as expressing his delight at remaining at Rovers for at least another three years:

“It was an easy choice for me. I’m playing the best football I’ve ever played and I’m really enjoying my time up north with my family. I’m excited about what the future holds.

“When we got the sniff that the new contract might become available, it was something we wanted to get done as quickly as we could. It was a test at the beginning when you’re joining a new club, new team-mates, a new manager and a new league. I was relegated from the league and there may have been questions as to why the club signed a player from League One, but I knew I just needed to bide my time, get used to the manager and how he wants to play, and I’m thoroughly enjoying my football here.

“I had a point to prove to fans and myself. I’d played in the Championship before and it’s a really tough league. I was down the bottom of the league with Peterborough and I joined a team in Rovers who were fighting for the Premier League. This season, again, we’ve shown great quality. The way the manager wants to play, the football speaks for itself. You have to be good on the ball, which is one of my attributes and you have a freedom and a license to express yourself, which is what I’ve done and why I’m scoring so many goals at the moment.

“I’m comfortable with everyone now, everything suits be down to a tee and I’ve flourished.”

Rovers’ Director of Football, Gregg Broughton and Head Coach, Jon Dahl Tomasson were on-hand to praise the experienced forward after the news of the deal broke. Broughton was quick to heap praise on the ‘dressing room leader’s’ qualities saying:

“When we signed Sam, we had identified that we needed to add both athleticism and another goal threat to the squad and he has given us both of these qualities. As a leader and a personality within our group, his impact this season has also been first class. We look forward to watching his continued development with Blackburn Rovers.”

Whilst the boss was full of praise for the number eight’s football IQ, he was also keen to acknowledge the personal qualities that his second ever signing for Blackburn Rovers possessed, too:

“It’s important for the club because we know the development that Sammie has been through in the past 18 months. “I think he’s been extremely positive in the way he’s becoming better and how he’s acting around the building, which has been great because he has a big impact on the group. The attitude and the work rate is extremely good and he’s scoring all those goals now.

“What is really nice with Sammie is that he can miss chances but he doesn’t go in the basement. He keeps his head high and you always need that. He wants to become better and the way he’s been playing in the last year has been really good for us. He’s a good player and a good player to play quick with one or two touches within one or two seconds. Very few players can do that. He’s good at finding positions, he’s good at running in behind, creating chances and can score great goals. He works hard for the team and has a lot of good qualities for the team. He came from the lower leagues and has worked really hard to become better. He’s getting at a higher level.

“He’s a nice guy, sometimes a bit crazy in a positive way! He’s good for the dressing room and always comes with a smile.”

Congratulations, Sammie! Here’s to many more years of watching you salute the supporters! ??