‘Frustrating for both of us’ – Mowbray’s assessment of Blackburn Rovers loan spell

Deyovaisio Zeefuik’s audition to become a permanent Rovers player has been frustrating for on-loan right-back and manager Tony Mowbray.

Zeefuik joined in January on loan for the rest of the season, with an option for Rovers to buy him in the summer for a price agreed with Hertha Berlin.

Still, injuries have proven to be a frustration for Zeefuik, who has played just 292 minutes of action since his loan switch.

He has been out with a calf problem since being sent off against Fulham on March 5, with his absence set to continue for perhaps another month, with the injury diagnosed six weeks out.

Injuries forced him to retire in two of his four starts, against Nottingham Forest and Fulham, while in games at Luton Town and Swansea City he was used in unknown roles.

And Mowbray said: “I think it’s been frustrating for both of us.

“He falls into the category of human beings that I love.

“He’s a good boy, he gets on well with the team, but it’s frustrating not to be able to play.

“Then when he was, Ryan was part of a team that was doing well and helping us keep the sheets clean.

“When he had the opportunity to collapse and be out for at least two weeks for him because there isn’t much time left in the season.”

Zeefuik has played 34 times in total since his €4m move to Germany from Groningen where he played 73 times for the Eredivisie side.

He made an enterprising appearance on his debut against Middlesbrough last month but was injured in two starts, against Nottingham Forest and Fulham, and also played unknown roles in away games at Luton Town and Swansea City.

While recovering, the 24-year-old said: “Every day feels better, but from the start they said four to six weeks and it should be around six weeks, but it could have been worse.

“We are working every day, step by step, and I can come back as soon as possible.

“I came to help the team and only played a few games.”

With Ryan Nyambe set to leave the club at the end of his contract this summer, Zeefuik has been brought in to offer competition in the present, as well as offering a potential long-term option.

It added to the frustration that Zeefuik was unable to make the impact he would have wanted, nor that Rovers see the wing-back as much as they would have liked given his injury struggles.

And Zeefuik is disappointed that he didn’t have enough time to show the fans what he can offer.

He added: “There have been short moments, but not yet, but hopefully I will show them and if we can make the play-offs, hopefully I can make minutes to show myself again.”

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