Derrick Williams’ time with Blackburn Rovers is set to come to an end in the coming days with a move to LA Galaxy expected to be confirmed.
The defender has been with Rovers since August 2016, signing under then-manager Owen Coyle, and he went on to win the Player Of The Season award in his first season here – despite relegation.
However, Williams was a key figure in Rovers’ immediate promotion from League One, playing all but one of the league fixtures as Tony Mowbray’s side returned to the Championship.
Following the aforementioned promotion, Williams has had spells on the sidelines through injury and being out of favour, making just 27 appearances since August 2019.
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With the move to LA Galaxy looking imminent, we asked for several of our contributors to give their views on Williams’ departure:
At his injury-free best, Derrick Williams slots in alongside Darragh Lenihan for me in my ideal centre-half pairing, but sadly he has been unable to string a run of games together as of late.
The start of this season saw us during our best run of form, and Williams was an underrated and admirable part of a staunch rearguard for Tony Mowbray’s side. When we lost him to a calf injury before the Nottingham Forest game, it commenced a revolving door of injuries that has seen the likes of Scott Wharton, Ryan Nyambe, Bradley Johnson and two Premier League loanees fill the void.
A tremendous servant at Ewood Park who has seen the club slump to its lowest point but also a rock at the back in our League One campaign that helped spark a mini-revival at the football club, and my best wishes go out to Derrick and his family for his time in the States.
Williams has always been a solid performer for Rovers, first at left-back and then when moved to centre half.
Winning the fans’ Player of the Year Award in his first season with the club was probably more a sign of the state of the club and overall performances on the pitch than anything else, but the fact he stood out above others can’t be ignored – I remember nicknaming him the “Moneyman” after he was the only transfer fee we spent that summer!
He wasn’t the best at getting forward to support the left-winger. but has looked a more than competent centre half since asking to play there, and is probably the best partner Lenihan has had this season – loving a battle and being dominant in the air.
Ultimately though, his game time has been dictated by injuries more often over the last couple of years and a decision has to be made from a financial point of view and I think moving him on and freeing up a wage to bring someone in, or opening up space for one of our academy prospects, is the right decision.
All the best to him for the future – not sure I’d pick LA over Blackburn though!
I was not surprised to read Derrick Williams is departing Rovers. He was always going to leave in the summer – he almost left the club last summer, but with him having the opportunity to move to the USA, it is sensible to let him move now so that Rovers can save some money on the remaining few months of his contract.
It is a shame how his final few months has turned out at Ewood with his injury problems. I do wonder what would have been if he had stayed fit this season as I think he would have been the perfect central defensive partner to Darragh Lenihan and maybe Rovers would not have had the defensive woes they have if he had played. The times he has played centre-half, he looked much better and assured than he did playing at left-back in my opinion.
He has spent four years with Rovers and was a vital part of the League One promotion squad so I will always have those fond memories of Williams.
Good luck on your new adventure, Del Boy!
My initial reaction to the news was disappointment, but I do understand it from the perspective of all parties involved.
Derrick has been, for me, the best centre-back when featuring this season, but injuries have severely limited his game time to just ten appearances. He has also been a good servant to the club and sometimes hasn’t received the recognition he deserves during his time with Rovers.
With the current financial situation, funds are better allocated to players who feature more regularly and if the money can be used to bring in players that will impact the first team more, I am all for the move.
The move is obviously one Derrick also wants. He has lived in America previously with his father born in the country, and it is a move that he and his family can enjoy in a new country.
It is a shame that injuries have prevented him from nailing down a regular place in the side this season and in years previously, and I’d like to wish Derrick all the best in the move, and thank him for his service at the club.
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