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‘Carried the team’ - Blackburn Rovers expert tells Villarreal what to expect from Ben Brereton-Diaz

The Yellows may have picked up a gem in the free agent market

OGC Nice v Villarreal CF - Sela Cup
Brereton-Diaz netted for the first time in yellow on Saturday
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

We speak to a Blackburn Rovers reporter to find out what Villarreal can expect from Ben Brereton-Diaz.

The new season is already upon us, with Villarreal finally in competitive action this weekend, taking on likely European rivals Real Betis at home.

It has been a pre-season to forget for the Yellows, who have lost a number of key players, but they will want to hit the ground running in the games where it counts.

While there have been plenty of big departures, Villarreal have managed to land some smart signings, landing Ben Brereton-Diaz, Denis Suarez and Santi Comesana on free deals.

And the former of those, Brereton-Diaz, has sparked plenty of excitement, with the Yellows finally getting a fitting alternative to Gerard Moreno.

We have already seen flashes of the Chile international in pre-season, but what can we expect from him this season?

We have spoken to LancsLive’s Blackburn Rovers reporter Elliott Jackson to find out.

Take a look below.

Q. What can we expect from Ben in general?

EJ: “If his last two years are anything to go for, it’s goals. He has been Rovers’ main supply of those and, at times, has carried the team.

“He doesn’t shy away from responsibility and he works very hard for the team. He’s definitely not a luxury player.

“Brereton Diaz’s development over the last two years has been phenomenal and his driving runs from the left channel have become a big asset. He’ll be a huge loss to Rovers.”

Q. It’s likely Ben will play a little wider at Villarreal, with Setién unlikely to go with two strikers. Will that suit him? What’s his best role/does he fit a certain system best?

EJ: “Yes, absolutely. Despite his goal tally, he is not a striker at all. Brereton Diaz is best coming from the left channel where he can cut inside and shoot. He doesn’t enjoy playing up front and it doesn’t get the best out of him.”

Q. Ben will be walking into a very different system of play at Villarreal, with a huge focus on build-up play. La Liga is generally a lot more technical and a lot less physical. With that in mind, do you think Ben will fit in comfortably, or can we expect a longer adaption period?

EJ: “I think there will be an adaptation to some parts of his game. His link-play will need a bit of work and, as you say, it is a very different style, so it might take some time.

“I still think his ability to run with the ball and drive at defenders will be a big asset, even if Spain. His finishing is composed too, so he shouldn’t struggle in front of goal once he has the ball.”