This week had become something of a ‘Where’s Holtby?’ for Rovers supporters.

The new recruit certainly kept fans on their toes with a series of cryptic posts about his destination as he made the way to East Lancashire via car and boat.

But the journey from his home in Germany to England, which Holtby describes as ‘the motherland of football’, brought back was plenty of memories.

His journey via ferry from Rotterdam to Hull is a well-trodden path for Holtby who has an English father and German mother.

Holtby used social media to keep fans up to date with his whereabouts before penning a deal on Thursday, 24 hours after his 29th birthday.

He was well aware of the interest being paid to his posts, and admits there was a bit of mischief along the way not to give the game of his final destination away.

“I started with my car at home, picked up my agent and we took the ferry from Rotterdam that I took up north, to Beverley, to see my nan and grandad in Hull,” Holtby told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“When I got on that ferry it was like I was 10-years-old, everything popped up again, all the memories.

“I really enjoyed that 12 hour journey.

“The Champions League was on, a lot of Dutch people drinking beer and singing on the ferry. I really enjoyed it.

“It was a bit bumpy, the bunk beds were going a little bit left to right.

“In the morning we drove to Blackburn, did the medical, went to Manchester, the day just went by in a tick.”

He was grateful to receive a warm welcome to the club, from officials, players and fans alike, but on those social media posts, added: “I made some stories up. I tried to hold them on a string.

“Let them be interested, that’s what social media is about, when things like that can occur, not really telling but giving a sign of where you might be heading.

“There was Leeds on the sign, so that was fun.

“When the picture went up on the Rovers website, I got a good reception and it’s always nice when people want you to come.

“Now it’s up to me to show them my potential and that this was the right thing to do.”

After leaving Hamburg, Holtby for the first time in his career experienced the challenges, but also opportunity, of being a free agent. He had offers from across the globe, with Rovers maintaining contact throughout the course of the summer.

Outside influences had tried to sway his call, but he says there was always a desire to return to England and with Rovers’ vision matching his, he admits it was a very attractive proposition.

“When you’re a free agent in the summer you have a lot of talks with a lot of people, some people try and influence you and convince you,” Holtby added.

“We had good talks with Blackburn, it was always an open conversation

“I just have to say thank you to everyone that was involved to get me here, from top to bottom, they made it very easy for me to come here football wise and personally.

“It all clicked at the end to get it all done.”

With the language no barrier, and knowledge of the north west from his father, Holtby says he will settle quickly which is key given he arrives seven games in to the season.

He explained: “My father is English, I have a lot of family in the north and know the northern mentality, that won’t be a problem.

“We are in the middle of the season, there’s no backing off.

“I will get to know them, how they play, personally, and that’s important.

“The language was never going to be a barrier.

“Growing up with both languages, I have family around the corner.

“I played here for one-and-a-half years, that was in the south, but I’m 29 now and now I’m a bit older you adapt and it won’t be a problem for me.”