In Profile: Joe Rothwell


Boasting a mixture of Premier League and Championship experience, Joe Rothwell adds yet more depth to Russell Martin’s side ahead of a crucial run in.

His footballing upbringing came in Manchester, where he joined United’s academy at the age of six and worked his way through the system.

After signing a professional deal with the club in 2013 Rothwell was handed his first taste of senior football with consecutive loan moves to Blackpool and then Barnsley. He encountered Saints' own Taylor Harwood-Bellis whilst at the latter.

His time at Manchester United came to an end shortly after being handed a place on Louis van Gaal’s substitutes bench for the Premier League win over Watford at Old Trafford in March 2016.

Rothwell moved south to join Oxford United on a two-year-deal three months later. Head Coach Michael Appleton at the time noted: “Joe is a really talented lad who we believe has a very bright future.”

The midfielder went on to make 86 appearances across two seasons at The Kassam Stadium, scoring his first senior goal in the 3-0 FA Cup replay win over Macclesfield Town in December 2016.

An opportunity came to test himself once again in June 2018, when Blackburn Rovers, who had just been promoted back to the Championship, signed him on a three-year-deal.

Rothwell's consistency continued at the heart of the Rovers midfield during that debut season, featuring 37 times and scoring twice as Tony Mowbray’s side finished 15th.

For the next three seasons he became a mainstay at Ewood Park, amounting 161 appearances and scoring 11 goals. The 2021/22 season was his last at the club, where he achieved his highest Championship finish of 8th and accumulated his best attacking return with a combined 14 goals and assists.

Rothwell then got his dream Premier League move at the start of the 2022/23 season, moving further down south to sign for Scott Parker’s Bournemouth on a free transfer.

The long-awaited top-flight debut was coincidentally against Saints, coming off the bench in the 77th minute as an early Ché Adams goal secured all three points at the Vitality in October 2022.

He continued to build experience in the Premier League over next last two seasons with a combined 35 appearances, scoring his Cherries goal in the Carabao Cup win over Stoke in September.