Sam cautious over new signing
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has admitted new signing Elrio van Heerden will need time to adapt.
Last Updated: 02/06/09 2:57pm
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has admitted new signing Elrio van Heerden will need time before he is ready for Premier League action.
The South Africa international winger has moved to Ewood Park on a free transfer from Belgian side Club Brugge.
Van Heerden has put pen to paper on a two-year deal but Allardyce will not be throwing him straight into the all-action environment of England's top-flight.
The Rovers boss wants the 25-year-old to spend some time working on his physique and expects it be closer to Christmas before Van Heerden is fully up to speed.
Allardyce told the club's official website: "We need to build him up a little strength-wise, he's not the biggest of lads, but he has the similarities of his international team-mate Pienaar who plays at Everton and we all know how well he's done.
"So if he settles quickly and gets stuck in to the regimes that we have, the core strength work, the flexibility, the mobility and we build him up a little bit then I'm sure he'll make an impact as the season progresses.
"I'm not envisaging it will be from the start of the season, I don't want anyone to think that come the 15th of August he's going to be right out there, although that would be a major bonus if that was the case.
"I think in and around the middle of the season we should see the sort of development that we need and then we should see him use his abilities on the field from there on."
Van Heerden is part of the South Africa squad for this summer's Confederations Cup where Rovers fans will get a chance to see their new signing in action.
Allardyce added: "We'll obviously be out there monitoring him as well now we've signed him. Then when he gets back he's a lot of work to do to get to the Premier League level that we would want him to be.
"We've signed a very talented young man we feel, I think it is a great addition. He's got lots of pace, lots of ability, he can play both sides of the field, wide right, wide left.
"He's been with Brugge for a year or two and had a couple of injuries which has been hiding his talents for a while, but we've monitored him over the last few months."