Jordan Rhodes at the Reebok? Not a chance of it
ONCE upon a time Dougie Freedman could have landed Jordan Rhodes for just £1million – but three-and-a-half years on, he admits the chances of that happening at Wanderers is pure fairytale.
Back when Rhodes first burst on to the scene at Huddersfield Town, Freedman lobbied the Palace board to find the cash to bring him to Selhurst Park – only to be told he was worth just £500,000.
Rhodes lines up for Blackburn Rovers today having arrived at Ewood Park for £8m last summer and with a £10m price tag around his neck for any potential Premier League suitors.
It really is a case of “the one that got away” for the Wanderers boss – whose pain hasn’t been helped by consistent speculation all summer that the club could somehow find the cash to bring him to the Reebok.
“Back then I thought there was value in the deal,” he said of the never-to-materialise bid at Palace. “He’s someone I’d been watching since he had a loan spell at Brentford and I thought then he had decent movement. He’s a Premier League player.
“You just can’t defend against movement. I was coached by Don Howe and he used to say that time and time again. Jordan had that when I first saw him and I’d just taken over the reserves at Palace, so I kept an eye on him from there on in.”
Freedman is shocked that one of the top flight clubs has not tested Blackburn’s resolve this summer but insists he is leaving nothing to chance this afternoon in an effort to stop his fellow Scot taking the headlines in the derby.
“I am surprised no-one from the Premiership has come in – I don’t know why you wouldn’t gamble,” he said. “His record speaks for itself and Blackburn had a very difficult season last year on and off the pitch but he consistently scored goals for them.
“We have done a lot of work on him this week. The lads have been sat in this very room watching video after video of Jordan because I believe he is one of the very few players who is capable of scoring for them.
“We have done a lot of work on his movement and what he does in the penalty box to make sure we keep him quiet.”
Plenty of Wanderers fans hold out hope that Freedman will be given the funds to make a bid for Rhodes this window – but the manager attempted to draw a line under the subject when he added: “There were a few rumours that we could possibly get him here but the price – I wouldn’t even embarrass myself by calling them up,” he said. “Eight million pounds? We wouldn’t be paying a tenth of that.”