“I think he brings a different element"
Dilan Markanday made history by becoming the first player of South Asian heritage to play for Blackburn Rovers.
The 20-year-old was signed from Tottenham for an initial £500,000.
Markanday had only trained once with his new teammates before being handed his debut against Hull City on January 19, 2022.
He came on in the second half in a bid to offer something different. However, Rovers lost the game 2-0.
But despite the defeat, manager Tony Mowbray is hoping Markanday can have a big impact this season and beyond.
He believes Blackburn Rovers have signed a highly promising attacking talent.
On handing Markanday his debut, Mowbray said:
“I think he brings a different element to what we had on the pitch and what we had on the pitch wasn’t threatening their goal enough.
“We didn’t look like we were going to create enough opportunities.
“A bit of individuality, see if he could get on the ball.
“He danced past one or two in that right-hand corner and got to the byline, again I’ve just said have we got enough poachers in the middle, one-touch finishes.
“We got behind them a couple of times to the byline, (Darragh) Lenihan did a couple of times, Tayo (Edun) did as well, but nothing came of it ultimately.
“Let’s brush ourselves down and get ready to go again for the next.”
Dilan Markanday was one of Premier League 2’s hottest prospects.
He signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Rovers, through to June 2025, with the option of an additional year.
Markanday was raised in North London and joined Tottenham at the age of 11. He enjoyed a successful rise through the club’s youth ranks to the fringes of the first team.
He helped Spurs’ Under-18s reach the final of the U18 Premier League Cup in 2017-18 and then finish runners-up in the U18 Premier League the following season, netting 11 goals in the process.
In 2019-20, Markanday was promoted to Tottenham’s Under-23s, starting every game in their UEFA Youth League campaign. He remained a regular starter the following season.
Dilan Markanday said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, but it’s all part of it and I can’t wait to get my career here started.
“The move away from home will help me grow massively off the pitch.
“That’s part of becoming a man and getting involved in that first-team environment.”
“I’ll be going into a different dressing room, meeting different people, playing under a different manager and playing in a team that is desperate to get three points every week and pushing for promotion.”
Prior to joining Blackburn Rovers, Markanday made his first-team debut for Tottenham against Vitesse in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
In doing so, he became the first British Asian, as well as the first player of Indian descent, to appear for Tottenham’s men’s first team in a competitive match.
Markanday will wear the number 18 shirt for Rovers.
He becomes their third signing of the January transfer window following the arrivals of right-backs James Brown and Deyovaisio Zeefuik.
The attacker could be in contention for his home debut when Rovers play against Middlesbrough on January 24, 2022, at Ewood Park.