Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray believes former Derby County player Bradley Johnson has been among their best players this season, the Lancashire Telegraph report.
Johnson joined Blackburn on a free transfer this past summer. He has gone on to start every Rovers game in the Championship so far this season.
Corry Evans’ role at Blackburn has since been of question. But Mowbray explained to the press that Johnson’s form is behind the Northern Irishman’s absence from the team of late.
As I’ve said to Corry, he’s very much in our plans. I can only pick so many players. I think Bradley Johnson has been one of our best players this year, strong, powerful, simplistic with his passing. He looks like he can break the box and score a goal. Unless I’m going to change the whole system to get Corry in, then he’s going to have to be patient.
Johnson became Derby’s record signing back in 2015 as he joined the Rams for £6 million.
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Many supporters expected the former Norwich City man to push Derby over the line in terms of promotion. However, he struggled to replicate his form at Carrow Road.
Johnson eventually became an important figure for Derby in a holding role last season. He was one of the Rams’ better players towards the end, helping the side reach the playoff final.
But at 32 and with his contract expiring, his future at Pride Park was always in doubt. Blackburn came in for him during the summer, and Derby were happy to let him leave.
Johnson has made a decent start at Ewood Park. Playing as a midfielder with licence to break forward, he has averaged 2.2 shots per league game, scoring once. His average throughout his time at Derby was lower at 1.4 shots per game.
Blackburn’s more direct style of play seemingly suits Johnson. He has the tools to become a popular figure with the Lancashire club, while Derby so far have struggled with his absence.