The decision to allow David Raya to leave Rovers in the summer was made easier by his desire to move on, according to Tony Mowbray.

Raya moved to tonight’s opponents Brentford in a deal worth an initial £3m in July, ending an eight-year association with Rovers.

The Spaniard was No.1 at Rovers for two seasons under Mowbray, playing 108 games in all for the club.

He returns to Ewood Park with the Bees tonight, and while Mowbray has no hard feeling towards the 24-year-old, says the ‘keeper indicated an interest in moving on once Brentford came calling.

“David was pretty keen to go in the end,” Mowbray said.

“His agent was phoning me every day, I think he was camped in the Brentford manager’s office.

“Historically for me, when a footballer is telling you indirectly, they can’t come in and say their agent is doing this and that, he wanted to go. His words to me were that he had been here a long time, since he was a kid, and he felt it was time for him to move on.

“I struggled to think ‘why would you want to go to Brentford?’ with total respect to them. They have big plans, a new stadium next year, their recruitment is pretty special the way they find gems from abroad. If you look at their team there are a lot of foreign players who are talented in that team.

“I think David was sold a story and ultimately when a player wants to go you have to hold out for what you feel is the best price.

“Then you move forward. That’s what we did.

“Whether the £3m we got, or whatever it was, was the right price for David Raya, history will tell us in the next few years whether he’s a £20m goalie or the year after or year after, or he stays with Brentford. Let’s wait and see.

“He’s a good goalie, one I like. He’s fast, he’s sharp, he’s quick, but when he’s knocking on your door asking what the news is because his agent is down there and he knows a new bid has come in it’s time to move on. It’s what we had to do.

“I like David Raya, I’ll shake his hand when I see him and wish him well after the game.”