Rovers are delighted to announce the signing of former Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala on a free transfer.
The 29-year-old centre-back, who has started over 250 games in English football, has put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal at Ewood Park through to June 2023.
Born in Seville, Ayala started out in the youth system with his hometown team, before joining Liverpool, where he made five Premier League appearances during the 2009-10 season, with his two starts for the club resulting in 4-0 victories over both Stoke City and Burnley.
Following loan spells at Hull City and Derby County, the towering defender joined Premier League new boys Norwich City in August 2011.
A team-mate of Elliott Bennett and Bradley Johnson during his time at Carrow Road, Ayala’s first season in Norfolk was interrupted by injuries, before he spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest and then Middlesbrough.
Having enjoyed a successful spell at the Riverside, his move to Middlesbrough was made permanent in January 2014, becoming new manager Aitor Karanka’s first permanent signing and joining just a few days before Sunderland striker Danny Graham.
Over the past seven seasons, the Spaniard, who has represented his country at Under-21 level, has made over 200 appearances for Middlesbrough, scoring 23 goals.
He played a pivotal role as the North East club clinched promotion to the Premier League in 2015-16, starting 34 Championship games as Boro secured second spot.
He came close to earning another promotion in 2017-18, only to lose out to Aston Villa in the play-offs, before finishing seventh the following season.
Widely regarded as one of the Championship’s most consistent, composed and dominant defenders over the past decade, Ayala was one of manager Tony Mowbray’s top transfer targets and Rovers are delighted to finally get their man.
Ayala, who becomes the fourth new face to arrive at Ewood Park this summer, following the signings of Tyrhys Dolan, Thomas Kaminski and Connor McBride, will wear the number five shirt for Rovers.
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