Blackburn Rovers have completed the signing of centre-back Daniel Ayala on a free transfer. Rovers have not disclosed how long the deal for the Spaniard is, but the former Liverpool player will be part of the squad for the 2020/21 campaign as a minimum.
Blackburn Rovers Sign Daniel Ayala
😍 Our new number 5⃣#Rovers 🔵⚪️ https://t.co/yv4U8QxL6b pic.twitter.com/qSu62iSlRv
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) September 15, 2020
Twenty-nine-year-old Ayala will be a familiar name to Championship fans having spent the past six years with Middlesbrough. His spell with the club also included a promotion to the Premier League in 2015/16, but they were relegated after just one campaign back in the top flight.
Despite this, the Spaniard has long been considered one of the best centre-backs in the second tier, largely through his performances with Boro. He has also had loan spells at Hull City and Derby County while with Liverpool, then with Nottingham Forest while he was under contract at Norwich City.
Ayala will likely step straight into the first-team, ahead of Derrick Williams and Charlie Mulgrew. Williams can also be deployed at left-back, while Mulgrew’s future at the club is uncertain.
Results-wise, it hasn’t been the best start to the season for Blackburn. They edged past League One side Doncaster Rovers in the first round of the Carabao Cup before suffering a 3-2 defeat to Bournemouth in their first league match.
A 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United last night saw them exit the Carabao Cup, but manager Tony Mowbray will take comfort from the fact that his side was by far the better of the two.
Ayala’s addition in defence will go some way to stop the concession of goals, with Rovers yet to keep a clean sheet.
However, Mowbray may have to enter the transfer market again after he suggested that midfielder Lewis Travis could be out for a lengthy spell after picking up an injury against Newcastle.