For a while it seemed as though Marcus Antonsson might have been turning some heads back at parent club Leeds United. The Swede, signed from Kalmar last summer, was sent out on loan to League One side Blackburn Rovers after failing to have an impact at Elland Road.
He scored eight goals in his first 18 games for Blackburn. However, he has not scored in his last ten fixtures and struggled to get back into the starting line-up since recovering from an ankle injury which kept him out of action throughout January. Since then Blackburn have signed Adam Armstrong on loan from Newcastle United, and he won the League One Player of the Month award for February.
Antonsson has been speaking to the official Blackburn Rovers website regarding his current struggles for first-team football:
“Everyone can’t be out on the pitch playing because there are only 11 players out there so there is a big responsibility for the others to be behind the ones who are playing.
“The good relationship is a big thing and we have that in this group. You always want to play games but when you are not you still have a big part to play.”
A very political and sensible statement from Antonsson, who is clearly behind Blackburn’s current promotion push.
But what does it all mean for his Leeds future?
Antonsson arrived at Leeds with a growing reputation. At the time of his signing he was top-scorer in the Swedish top-flight. Those goals never flowed for Leeds. But his form at Blackburn would have been giving him hope of a future at Elland Road.
Eight goals from 18 games is a good tally and he was showing some excellent form with Rovers. But the injury adds to doubts over his physical toughness and the barren spell since will leave few at Leeds changing their opinion.
Antonsson cost Leeds a fee which could rise to £2 million, according to the YEP. This summer Leeds will have to decide whether to give him another chance in West Yorkshire, or to try and recoup some of that fee.
After his recent troubles the latter looks increasingly likely.