Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Saturday June 26 2010
Big Sam reckons a massive piece of summer business has already been done - getting Morten Gamst Pedersen to re-sign at the club.
Morten has thrived recently after a lean spell, which coincided with a move into central midfield and earned himself a new deal in the process.
But the fairy would have left for nothing if he had not been convinced to sign a new deal at Ewood Park, something Big Sam has highlighted.
Allardyce believes that it may have taken up to £6 million to replace him, which we are all fully aware is money we can ill afford to spend!
Rovers boss Allardyce spoke to the LT and said - "It was a long drawn out affair. It was a position where we didn`t really want to lose him and as it turned out I don`t think he really wanted to leave us.
"So finally we came to a mediation of falling between what we wanted to give him and what he wanted. So I am glad to see he has put pen to paper because he is a hugely experienced player.
"It is like signing a free transfer. Had he left we would probably have had to find four, five and six million pound to replace him."
He who is large also explained that he still sees Morten as a key member of the squad, with his contribution to set pieces in particular in recent times making Rovers a threat.
Despite never hitting the heights of his first two seasons at the club, Morten has recovered from the shocking form of recent seasons - something Big Sam is pleased about.
Allardyce continued - "Yes he had some golden years at the club where he was an outstanding individual who scored many goals and provided many, that almost became a burden on the back of his shoulders. >From board level downwards people said he is not the player he used to be.
"Okay perhaps he is not quite as good as that but to have continued to have played that way would have meant he wouldn`t have been at Blackburn Rovers for much longer. He would have been playing for Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea because that is how good he was.
"His contribution is still a huge one. Moving him inside has been a great move for him and for us. There is less pressure on him to provide the goals he did before the crosses he did before.
"Now he is coming from the middle of the field, making better and more accurate passes and getting more involved in the game.
He is an outstanding deliverer of free kicks. Sixty per cent of our goals were scored from set plays last year and Morten`s delivery has helped that.
"In his armoury the whole package means he is a very productive player in trying to create and score goals. Since moving him to the middle we have seen much better and more consistent performances. "
I agree that Morten has been much better and the last six months here earned him a new deal.
But it is up to Morten to prove that he didn't just up his game in order to get a pay rise. That is the task facing Pedersen next season.
Date:Saturday June 26 2010
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