Whatever calm remained from the earlier months of Real Salt Lake’s offseason are well and truly gone now, with the club today announcing that they have officially signed former Blackburn Rovers full back Adam Henley.
Henley, 23, made 94 first-team appearances with Blackburn Rovers, including during their most recent stint in the Premier League during the 2011–12 season. His youth career started at the club, aged only 7, having come up from the youngest of the team’s ranks, and he made his first-team debut at age 17.
Real Salt Lake announces the signing of Adam HenleyPosted by RSL Soapbox on Tuesday, January 9, 2018
In a Real Salt Lake press release, general manager Craig Waibel said Henley has every chance to be successful at the club.
“He is a promising young talent that has American roots. He has every reason to come over and work hard to be successful,” Waibel said. “It’s a perfect scenario for us to bring in a young, energetic player that needs to prove himself.”
Henley, in the same release, described the move as a chance to “reignite (his) career.”
“I’m really excited to begin my journey at Real Salt Lake. It’s a fantastic opportunity at a well-run, well-supported club,” Henley said. “I feel this is a great chance for me to reignite my career and get back to playing my best football.”
Injury problems plagued the last few years of his time at Blackburn, particularly hamstring issues, and his contract expired with the club in May. He has been without a team since, although he has been on trial with multiple clubs before signing here.
Those injury concerns bring Henley to Real Salt Lake as a player that presents some risk, but by the same token, he offers much reward. If he is able to maintain his fitness, he could prove an exciting addition at attacking full back, offering depth on both the right and left sides of defense. If he is not, one would hope that the club has not invested intensely into Henley’s contract.
Being born in Tennessee, Henley doesn’t occupy an international roster position, which will provide RSL will some necessary flexibility in their roster construction for 2018.