Transfer Window Roundup - Who's In
Now that the transfer window has closed until January a roundup of who have joined Blackburn Rovers during June 1st and August 31st 2006 can take place.
Who are the men to arrive at Ewood and what can we expect from them? Firstly the arrivals since the last roundup:
Andre Ooijer: August 22nd finally saw the long awaited arrival of the Dutch International for around £2 million from PSV Eindhoven. With Rovers` interest long standing a fee could not be agreed, with Ooijer eventually refusing to play for PSV. An agreement was eventually struck which will be much to Rovers` benefit.
The big, strong and highly experienced Dutch International can play in central defence or right-back, being equally at home in either position. His debut against Chelsea may not have been his finest 90 minutes but I can assure you there is plenty more to come from Andre.
Shabani Nonda: The evening of the transfer window saw the arrival of the DR Congo International forward on a season-long loan from Roma, with the view to a permanent move.
The powerful, 29-year-old, vastly experienced forward has a fine scoring record of 128 goals in 269 games in three different countries between 1995 and now, and once cost Monaco £15 million. He will have everything to play for as he is in effect playing for his future, either with Rovers or Roma, so this can only work in Rovers` favour
And a re-cap on these already signed during the previous roundup on the eve of the new Premiership season:
Jason Brown: The end of June saw the arrival of the Welsh International Goalkeeper on a free transfer from Gillingham.
The youngster, known to Hughes from his time as Welsh boss, will no doubt have to battle with Peter Enckelman for the role of understudy to number one Brad Friedel, although I`d expect him to win this duel.
His quality will no doubt leave Rovers fans with little to fear once he finally replaces Friedel, and should he have to step in to fill Americans gloves he will prove a more than able deputy.
Jason Roberts: The beginning of July saw Roberts, the nephew of Cyrille Regis; arrive from Wigan for a fee of around £3 million.
The Grenadian International powerhouse will add strength, pace and power to the Rovers forward line for the next four years, providing his contract is at least seen out.
Although not always credited as being so Roberts is very prolific, the striker has scored goals everywhere he has been and will without question score them in this campaign.
Francis Jeffers: The "fox in the box" would arrive on the same day as Jason Roberts. The former Charlton Athletic striker would arrive on a free transfer having been released by the Addicks at the end of his contract.
Since he burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old with Everton he has amounted transfer fees totalling more than £10 million. Injury and poor form has hampered Jeffers since his £8 million move to Arsenal in 2001 but should he get back to anywhere near the form that saw him score a record equalling 16 goals in 13 U21 Internationals for England, a record shared with Rovers legend Alan Shearer, and 1 in 1 at Full International level then Rovers will be onto a winner.
I`d not expect him to be the first choice of Hughes but will come on from the bench looking to poach goals, however when called upon he`ll be looking to prove that he is more than worth a place in the Premiership as he looks to reclaim his England place.
Benni McCarthy: The 28th July would finally see Benni McCarthy sign for Rovers for a fee of around £2.5 million for Porto. Mark Hughes had been tracking the South African International for a year when finally landing his man, who along with Roberts and Jeffers will more than replace the departed Craig Bellamy.
McCarthy is a man with a history of football with top European clubs; he has played in Holland, Spain and Portugal, often performing on the very biggest of club stages, the Champions League, a tournament in which he has excelled. McCarthy arrives at Ewood Park with a goalscoring record that would be hard to match, often averaging almost a goal per game a season!
He will without question, when given the chances, even if it means creating them himself score goals.
Zurab Khizanishvili: We know all about Georgian defender Zurab, and although the deal was agreed back in January, his signing from Glasgow Rangers for a fee of around £500,000 couldn`t become "official" until July, so he would technically be a summer arrival.