Jim Bentley has been pleased with the impact of Ethan Brierley in Dale’s last two games.
The Academy graduate started in the draw at Crewe Alexandra and the win over Stevenage on Saturday, assisting Dale’s second.
When asked about the midfielder in his post-match interview, the gaffer said he could be a big player for the remainder of the season.
“He’s just sampled a different environment having been up at Sheffield United and he’s had interest from a Championship club, and a good one as well, in Blackburn,” said Bentley.
“They’re good with their young players and he’s had the injury, and the potential move, and he’s come back and he’s trained well.
“We’ve been a little but reluctant - obviously we can’t have Blackburn dictating our side - but ultimately, you’ve got to think of player’s career. It’s a dream move from the lad financially and a steppingstone as they could be a Premier League soon, and it’s also finances into the club as well.
“But whatever has happened has happened, he’s come back and we’ve made the decision that we’re going to get him back in the team, and 100% where Ethan was probably a 19-year-old boy in the building, he’s suddenly now, having had that spell away at a different club and the interest from a Championship club, he’s come back as a man.
“We were discussing his physical output the other day and his sprint time has come on, you see him with his shoulders back, he has physically improved.
“We all know that he’s a very good footballer but suddenly physicality wise he’s looking better, stronger and fitter, and he gets down the pitch better.
“I thought he was excellent today and I thought he played well last week as well, so fair play to him.
“He deserves it - he’s a local lad and everyone loves him. He’s a cracking kid and he’s going to be a big player for us.”