Rovers boss Tony Mowbray was delighted to secure the signature of Peter Whittingham – and he hopes his arrival will be the first of many.
Whittingham ended his 10-year stay at Cardiff City to become Mowbray’s first summer signing after he put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal at Ewood Park.
The Rovers manager admits he has been a long-term admirer of the midfielder and he can’t wait to get working with him on the grass.
Having now got one deal over the line, Mowbray hopes that there will be many more high-quality signings to follow.
“I’m delighted, obviously,” said the Rovers head coach.
“He’s been a player that as my teams over the years have played against, you feel the quality of Peter Whittingham on the pitch against you – picking passes, hitting lovely balls, deadball situations, scoring free-kicks, whipping corners under the crossbar – and so when the opportunity came, I think it was something that we needed to explore and ultimately we sit here delighted that we’ve been able to sign him.
“I’m looking forward to working with him first and foremost on the grass, and then integrating him into the team and I hope it’s seen as a sign of a player that is showing some intent for the football club. I appreciate that it’s a free transfer situation, but it’s a very high quality free transfer and the job for me now is to keep adding quality around the already existing quality players that are on the board in my office.
“If we can add some more quality footballers along the way, it should give us a confidence that we’re trying to build a team that is and does have an ambition to bounce straight back.”
As well as being a hugely talented footballer, Mowbray also insists that Whittingham ticked all the right boxes in terms of the type of characters he is looking to attract to the club, in order for Rovers to be successful in League One.
“I think I’ve always tried to recruit people who love the game, who want to learn and want to get better,” he added. “That came across to me very obviously that Peter is a football lover, who looks forward to training, who is a good character around the dressing room and who wants to help younger players as well. He has a really good manner about him.
“So I’m looking forward to getting to work on the grass, but ultimately, as I’ve said to Peter, we need to try and add more quality players, so that he feels that he’s coming to a club that has existing high quality players as well, but one that wants to keep adding and keep moving on.
“We need different types. I’ve talked about artists and soldiers in the past and Peter’s an artist. We do need to sign some soldiers as well and some people who are, to coin a phrase, ‘water-carriers’.
“Football teams need balance, so we’ll need some workers and some people who are going to compete on the cold winter nights in an away game on a bobbly pitch. We need to have people who can put their foot in and tackle and win the ball back for us.
“That process has been going on right through the summer and we’re pleased to have got Peter over the line and hopefully for him we can add some more as we move forward.”
Don't forget, Rovers fans now have extra time to take advantage of the club's price freeze on season tickets for the 2017-18 season.
The great-value Early Bird offer - and claim your seat deadline - has been extended until Saturday July 1st.
With adult prices starting from just £279, it means supporters who buy or renew a season ticket can see all the action at Ewood Park for less than £13 per game.
For more details, visit the new supporter portal 'My Rovers' at www.my-rovers.co.uk