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Kean believes Rovers are ready for an 'almighty promotion challenge'
STEVE Kean believes Blackburn Rovers have assembled a squad ready to launch “an almighty challenge” for Premier League promotion after spending more than £13million on rebuilding this summer.
Rovers yesterday completed the expected signings of Portuguese midfielder Diogo Rosado and defender Nuno Henrique on three-year deals and the season- loan capture of Polish international goalkeeper Grzegorz Sandomierski, with an option to buy.
Jordan Rhodes, who completed a club record equalling £8million move from Huddersfield on Thursday, is expected to make his debut in this afternoon’s Championship trip to Leeds United - with Kean having added 12 new faces to his squad before last night’s close of the transfer window.
The wantaway Steven Nzonzi completed a move to Stoke City late on, for in the region of £3million, while David Goodwillie moved to Crystal Palace on loan.
Kean said: “With the quality we have added all summer, to get someone like Jordan is a massive statement. It makes our squad shine out with quality and gives us options all over, which is what we want.
“We were very disappointed with last season. We feel we have a squad assembled that can sustain one almighty challenge to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
“Everyone will look at us and we will be the team to beat. I would much rather have it that way, where we have quality, than not signing anyone and expected to go back up anyway. I think the pressure comes with the size of our club.
“We expect Leeds to be there or thereabouts as I’m sure they do. They have had a good start and it is a tough away game. We feel we have lots of quality and it is a good game for us.”
Sandomierski, 22, has signed from Genk, while Rosado arrives from Sporting Lisbon and Nuno Henrique from Academica.
Kean has described Rhodes as a natural goal scorer and is confident the 22-year-old will quickly adapt to life at Ewood Park.
Rhodes is likely to lead the line against Leeds this afternoon, with Colin Kazim-Richards still injured, as Rovers look to maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Kean said: “Everyone knows what sort of player Jordan is. He has lots and lots of qualities and the one that shines out the most is his goal scoring ability.
“He has cost a lot of money but we feel as though it is a massive investment. We don’t see it as a big fee and look at it one dimensionally, we feel he can go on to massive things at the club.
“The fee itself looks like a statement but we are buying someone who can score any type of goal. We feel there is massive scope for improvement and we have got some player on our hands.
“Natural goal scorers come at a premium. I think his age, if he scores the goals I think he will score, it will be very, very good business. If he scores 25 -30 goals this season and we get promoted, it will be £15m and £17m tagged onto his head.”