ALBION want to see Christian Walton prove himself as their potential No.1 as he heads back out on loan.

Blackburn is the most likely destination for the England under-21 keeper on a season-long deal.

The Argus understands the Seagulls have resisted interest from clubs looking to take him on a permanent deal.

Rovers have beaten off stiff competition to take him as successor to David Raya, who has joined Brentford.

Albion want to see Walton enjoy plenty of playing time and continue the progress he has shown in helping Wigan win League One and then retain Championship status in the last two years.

They see a move to Tony Mowbray’s side as another big test and an opportunity to show their own staff what he can do and how he is growing in stature.

Albion are also weighing up the next step for Taylor Richards as plans for the new season take shape.

Richards came off the bench to score the penalty winner in last Friday’s friendly at Crawley, a day after signing from Manchester City.

Graham Potter will get more chance to assess the England under-17 international this week.

The Albion boss said: “He’s ambitious, he wants a taste of first team football.

“That’s always the challenge for young players, to get that next step from youth football.

“You can see he’s got quality, he’s got ability.

“We just need to make a good assessment of him, then try to find the right pathway to gain that first team experience.”

Richards will be expected to build up his fitness this week.

Potter added: “He might have played a little bit longer (at Crawley) than he should or could have done.

“He has not played much football at all, so he was blowing a bit.

“He scored his goal, got excited and then gave a couple (of balls) away, but that’s part of the process.

“It was nice for him to score. He showed his confidence with the penalty.”

Steven Alzate will also step up his work again this week after a stomach bug ruled him out of friendlies against Crawley and Fulham.

Gaetan Bong and Leon Balogun are being lined up for a return to action against Valencia a week on Friday after their exertions in the Africa Cup of Nations.