Blackburn defender's decision to choose Championship return over permanent move to Portsmouth pays off massively

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Hayden Carter’s determination to play Championship football for Blackburn has paid off massively.

The 23-year-old has just signed a new four-year deal with the Ewood Park following an impressive breakthrough season for the Lancashire outfit.

That will extend the defender’s stay at his boyhood club until 2027 and vindicates his decision last summer to favour a return to his parent club over making a loan move to Pompey permanent.

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Carter spent the second half of last season at Fratton Park after making just 10 appearances for Rovers over the first half of the 2021-22 campaign.

The versatile defender featured 22 times and scored once as he swiftly established himself in a Danny Cowley side which finished the League One season strongly, albeit ending in 10th spot.

The then Blues head coachwas keen to bring Carter back to the south coast this term – a move that large sections of the Fratton faithful were in favour of.

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That prompted him to remain at Ewood and fight for his place under new boss Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Hayden Carter featured 22 times for Pompey last season while on loan from BlackburnHayden Carter featured 22 times for Pompey last season while on loan from Blackburn
Hayden Carter featured 22 times for Pompey last season while on loan from Blackburn

And it’s a decision that has paid off, with Carter establishing himself as a first-team regular with 27 appearances to date and agreeing a new contract which shows the trust the club have in his ability.

Carter told the Blackburn website: ‘It means a lot to me to extend my stay for another four years. This club means a lot to me.

‘I’ve been here for nearly 10 years now and this is everything I’ve been working towards. I’ve been in the Academy, in the Under-21s and now in the first team and it’s a club that has helped me so much. I hope I can repay the club now.

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‘I’ve got into the first team this season, I’ve played consecutive games and that’s exactly what I want to be doing. I want to be playing for this club and helping the team.

‘Playing a lot of games this season has been massive for me. I’ve stepped up from the loans in League One and playing against players who have just come down from the Premier League.

‘There’s loads I can still add to my game. There are things I’m good at that I still have to develop and there are weaker areas that need a lot more development as well. I feel I’m in the right place to do that with the players and staff we have here.

‘Looking forward, I want to give the fans what they deserve and help get this club back where it belongs.’