News that Brighton see Christian Walton as a long-term option doesn’t come as a surprise, but does highlight the uncertainty which surrounds Rovers’ goalkeeping position.

There was surprise last summer when it was Walton, the same age and experience to David Raya, and a loanee, was the man chosen to be Rovers’ No.1.

Tony Mowbray later admitted that the Brighton stopper wasn’t Rovers’ first choice and came after a number of near misses, including two European goalkeepers, when it came to find a replacement for Raya who was sold to Brentford.

There was no permanent option in the loan deal which brought Walton to Ewood Park, with the Premier League side viewing him as a potential No.1 at the AMEX Stadium.

Though after playing every minute of the 37 Championship matches this season, and enjoying an impressive start to 2020 as Rovers matched last season’s tally for clean sheets, thoughts had begun to turn to whether Walton could become a permanent fixture in goal.

His deal at his parent club runs to the end of next season, though the former England Under-21 international had always stressed his intention was to try and force his way in to Graham Potter's plans, and that wish looks to have been granted by Seagulls boss.

A long-term deal looks set to follow, and Rovers’ search for a new goalkeeper will continue, though Walton will see out the rest of the season, whenever that may be, at Ewood Park.

Jayson Leutwiler’s time at the club has been one of fleeting appearances in the cup competitions and back-up to first Raya, and now Walton. The Canadian international has played 13 times in all, but just six of those coming in the league and none this season.

Mowbray hinted that despite the club taking up the 12-month option in his deal last summer, there could have been the opportunity for Leutwiler to still move on had Rovers recruited sufficiently in that department.

Turning 31 later this month, Leutwiler, a regular during his three years at Shrewsbury Town prior to his move to Rovers, will face a decision over whether to seek first-team football again, or whether a back-up role is one he is happy to fulfil.

Further down the goalkeeping department comes Andrew Fisher, the Academy graduate desperately looking for some first-team experience.

The 22-year-old, under contract until the end of next season, is currently with League One side MK Dons, but yet to play a game for Russell Martin’s side, having spent the first half of the season with Northampton Town in League Two where he played just three times in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Joe Hilton was recruited last summer after leaving Everton on a two-year deal and has been in good form for the Under-23s this term, his arrival allowing Fisher to seek first-team opportunities.

Going in to the summer, it looks as though Rovers will need to recruit a minimum of two, and possibly three, new goalkeepers, should Leutwiler move on and Fisher loaned out again, with David Cornell of Northampton Town remaining on the radar.

Mowbray has stressed on numerous occasions that he isn’t one for chopping and changing his goalkeeping department, but during his criticism of Raya during the latter stages of last season, suggested that experience would be his go-to criteria.

That didn’t play out, with Walton signed on loan, and the manager will know that, as well as the likelihood of needing to find at least three defenders, is where this summer’s priorities will lie.

Before then, there’s a season to finish, and while there may be no football going on, work behind the scenes on viewing clips of potential targets goes on.

The length, and timing, of the transfer window is also uncertain, meaning Rovers must be prepared to strike for whenever that time comes.