Rovers confirmed the signing of Middlesbrough goalkeeper Aynsley Pears on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee on deadline day in October 2020.
Pears, who signed a four-year contract at Ewood Park through to June 2024, became Rovers' third deadline day arrival, following on from the season-long loan deals of Barry Douglas from Leeds United and Tom Trybull from Norwich City.
The 22-year-old, whose dad Stephen Pears made over 400 appearances in goal for Middlesbrough and was a team-mate of Rovers manager Tony Mowbray, had been with the Teesside club since Under-9s.
After progressing through Middlesbrough’s youth ranks, he received England recognition at Under-19 level, before enjoying successful loan spells with Darlington and Gateshead, where he was named the club’s Player of the Season in 2018-19.
He made his Middlesbrough debut in a League Cup tie against Crewe Alexandra in August 2019 and went on to play 24 games in the Championship last season, keeping clean sheets in four of his first six appearances.
He started in goal against Rovers when the two teams met at the Riverside during the 2019-20 campaign and will now compete with fellow summer signings Thomas Kaminski and Antonis Stergiakis for the number one spot at Ewood Park.