Rovers announced earlier this week that Paul Downing, currently on loan at Doncaster, would be leaving the club next month.

Downing played a pivotal role in Rovers’ League One promotion campaign, having initially joined on loan from MK Dons before that was made permanent in January 2018.

However, after jour four first team appearances this season he was loaned to Doncaster Rovers in January, before Rovers opted against triggering the option in his 12-month deal which will see him depart after 34 appearances.

Having conceded 69 goals this season, something Tony Mowbray branded ‘unacceptable’, the manager is keen to add to both his goalkeeping and defensive ranks this summer.

Downing is in play-off action for loan club Doncaster tonight as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg defeat against Charlton.

But could Downing’s replacement possibly in action for the Addicks?

Patrick Bauer was a target for Rovers last summer, with Charlton rejecting their advances for the German.

However, 12 months on, the 26-year-old has impressed in his 37 appearances this season and is in to the final month of his deal at The Valley.

His future remains unresolved and has previously stated he wouldn’t be signing a new deal with Charlton, though that could rest on any possible promotion to the Championship.

While Mowbray is keen to bring in defenders, how many, remains unanswered. But he has hinted at wanting ready-made first team players, moving away from last summer's recruitment which focused on adding depth, and value, to the squad. 

Darragh Lenihan is undoubtedly first choice, while Charlie Mulgrew is club captain and a mainstay of the side since Mowbray took charge. He has had his injury problems however, and also finished the season on the bench, with Derrick Williams, mainly used as a left back by Mowbray since taking over in February 2017, has proved he is a more than useful option.

Then there is Jack Rodwell. The central defensive experiment may well have been knocked on the head, with the majority of his 22 appearances coming in that role. The 28-year-old has been offered a new deal, but his future is unresolved, and any potential game-time would likely be limited.

Also to factor in is Rovers’ raft of young centre halves. Scott Wharton, Joe Grayson and Matty Platt will all return from their spells out on loan, while Under-23s captain Tyler Magloire made his first team debut in March.

None of those are ready  for a full season of Championship action, but who would benefit from a spell out on loan, and who will be sticking around? And has Magloire, by sticking around this season, jumped above Grayson and Wharton in the pecking order?

In Wharton’s case, having had four separate, butmixed, spells in League Two, what is the long-term plan for the 21-year-old?

All questions that need to be resolved during what’s expected to be an interesting summer. And whatever the outcome, the result has to be an improvement in the goals against column.