BLACKBURN Rovers’ trio of deadline day captures are ready to go straight into the first team, insists Gary Bowyer.
But Rovers boss Bowyer admits he had half an eye on the future when signing centre back Shane Duffy from Everton on a three-year deal and goalkeeper Jason Steele and midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe on season-long loans from Middlesbrough and Fulham respectively.
“The three windows I’ve had, I think it’s the first one we’ve really been that busy on the actual day as we’ve tended to get our business done beforehand,” said Bowyer, who was unable to land a fourth target, believed to be a striker, before the summer transfer window shut at 11pm.
“But on Monday we found ourselves involved in three deals and we were delighted to get them over the line and we thank the clubs for helping us to do that.
“If you look at the squad now, in terms of its assets, value and personnel, it’s totally different compared to this time last year.
“Shane Duffy is only 22, Ryan Tunnicliffe is 21, and Jason Steele is another really hungry young lad.
“I’m really delighted because if you look at the squad now it looks like we’re really building something for the future.
“Obviously I still understand the world that we live in now is all short term but for the benefit of Blackburn Rovers we’ve got a squad capable of being here for a long time.
“That’s really pleasing and it shows a sensible approach to using funds.”
Of the six summer signings made by Bowyer only Duffy, who has joined for an initial payment understood to be in the region of £400,000, cost a fee.
And, like his other five arrivals, the Rovers manager expects the Republic of Ireland international to challenge for a first-team place immediately.
“I’ve said all along we are not going to bring anybody in not to play,” said Bowyer, whose side return to action at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday week.
“I always want to challenge the lads and if everybody is fit for the Wigan game, it gives us a hell of a problem.”
Of 24-year-old keeper Steele, who will challenge Paul Robinson for the number one jersey, Bowyer said: “We’re delighted to get Jason because he has got a lot of pedigree.
“We did our homework and everybody we spoke to spoke very highly of him and about what a capable goalkeeper he is.
“He’s very good with his feet as well, which helps us, and in the end it became a no-brainer.”
On box-to-box midfielder Tunnicliffe, who started out at Manchester United, Bowyer said: “I’ve known Ryan for a long, long time.
“I’ve seen him grow up through Manchester United’s ranks and he had a fabulous education there.
“The lad is desperate to do well and that hunger is a characteristic we look for.”
And of Duffy, who will vie with captain Grant Hanley, Alex Baptiste and Matt Kilgallon for one of the centre back positions, Bowyer said: “He gives a massive boost to our defence because we aren’t blessed with numbers in that area.
“He’ll certainly come and add some competition and add some size to the back four for us.
“He’s dominant in both boxes and while he’s only 22, he’s a warrior and a leader.”