Tony Mowbray is thrilled to finally land the signing of Lewis Holtby after chasing the German international all summer.
Available on a free transfer after opting to leave Hamburg, Holtby jetted into Ewood Park for talks early into the summer.
The playmaker, who turned 29 yesterday, returned for further talks with the boss this week, before penning a two-year contract with the club earlier today.
And the boss is thrilled to see the patience pay off with the midfielder, who can count the likes of Schalke, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham as former clubs.
“He’s somebody who we’ve been tracking since the summer so we’re pleased to get him in, especially after receiving some really positive reports on him," a beaming Mowbray revealed to iFollow Rovers.
“My frustration was that it didn’t happen during the transfer window, but his fitness looks really good and now we’re happy he’s here.
“He’s been training today and has shown he’s really tight with the ball, picks good options on the ball and is very crisp with his passing.
“He’s another good player to have in the squad. He has good leadership qualities and has a good personality that will fit into the squad perfectly.
“We didn’t think it would come our way to be honest, because he had a lot of options from places far away.
“But because he loves football and loves talking about football, this environment is the right one for him. Hopefully he’ll grow in stature and be a big player for the team. It’s about doing it on the grass because names mean nothing."
Mowbray's midfield is looking well stocked with quality now, and the manager says he's looking forward to seeing the battle for places in that area get even fiercer.
“We have Stewy Downing here who has played for England over 30 times, so it’s down to Lewis to show his talent on the pitch," he added.
“We have some good options now, so let’s see how it works out.
“I showed Lewis around a few months ago and he’s a very impressive individual who is connected with you.
“When he left to get back on his fight in the summer, despite how enthusiastic he was, I didn’t think we’d see him again.
“He’s gone to Ewood, seen the Premier League trophy and was suitably impressed by this football club.
“I knew where his salary levels were, the clubs who were interested in him, and didn’t think we’d entice him to come, but here he is.
“He’s pretty fit and did a test during his medical. He has been working and was right up there in the fitness tests. How soon will he play? He’ll need to learn about us and will need a week’s training.
“I think he’ll get up to speed pretty quickly, so we’ll see how he does in training."