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Allardyce talks up Blackburn midfielder Pedersen

Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce believes replacing Morten Gamst Pedersen would have cost him £6millilon. But the two parties have been able to agree a deal and Pedersen will remain at the club for a further four years, putting an end to months of transfer speculation.

The Rovers chief told the Lancashire Telegraph: "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."

Pedersen has come under criticism in recent times from some of the Rovers faithful for falling below the standard expected of the 28-year-old.

But his manager was not prepared to understate the value of Pedersen to his team, who he feels has benefited from shifting from wide midfield to a more central role - easing the burden on him to both score and provide goals.

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. "

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