Rovers would prefer more permanent signings this summer as they prepare to lose two of their loanees after tonight’s final game at Luton Town.

Tony Mowbray stressed defensive improvements were key for Rovers last summer, but after selling David Raya and loaning out Charlie Mulgrew, the additions came in the form of three loan players.

Christian Walton has been an ever-present in goal, but will return to parent club Brighton after tonight’s game, while Manchester City man Tosin Adarabioyo is unlikely to feature because of a tight hamstring, ending an impressive sting at Ewood Park for the central defender.

Greg Cunningham’s loan from Cardiff was cut short because of a serious knee injury, leaving Rovers with holes to fill in defence for next season.

And while Mowbray would ideally prefer to bring in permanent signings, he admits the quality that can be brought in, at more reasonable prices, make the loan market an attractive prospect.

“I’d like every department to have permanent players, no loans, and every player plays for Blackburn Rovers. I think that’s probably unlikely,” he said.

“I think if we want a team that can be competitive we could end with five or six loans, because they become affordable, they’ll be highly talented as they will be from the Premier League, let’s wait and see.

“If you’re taking a free transfer from somebody that doesn’t think they’re good enough, whatever league that is, the Premier League we probably wouldn’t be able to afford his salary, and if he’s from the Championship or League One are they going to help us get out of this league and to the Premier League?

“It’s a conundrum sitting here today.”

Southampton midfielder Harrison Reed was an undoubted success during his season-long stint in 2019/20, a player Rovers tried to re-sign last summer, only for him to join Fulham.

Kasey Palmer’s move from Chelsea wasn’t quite as successful, failing to hold down a regular place in the team, but Mowbray’s loan signings have largely been successful during his time in charge.

The manager handed debuts to Hayden Carter and Jack Vale in the weekend win over Reading, with the Academy set to play a key role in the club’s future moving forward.

Mowbray says they will need to be supplemented by quality additions, with Championship experience, but feels there’s plenty to be excited about among the homegrown players.

“I hope it’s bright. Some of them are on there to test them, see how they react to men’s football, professional football when points are at stake,” he said, after finishing Saturday’s match with seven Academy graduates.

“We lost three goals and that's really disappointing, but I thought Carter was fantastic. He looked really assured, played his position, confident with the ball, won some big headers.

“I want to over-mention Hayden Carter, there will be bigger tests to come but it was pleasing to see.

“I like Jack Vale, he’s a boy, but a wonderful talent, an amazing talent, you watch him in training.  What would that have been like if it had flew in rather come back off the crossbar? That’s what he does, out of nothing, he has the fastest feet and he can dribble and shoot, ‘wow’, he can take your breath away.

“The future is exciting – but the job is to try and build a team to get us out of this league, not to just produce a load of young kids. Maybe that’s a discussion point down the line, if we want to produce players then that’s fine, but it’s a fine balance between producing players through the Academy and getting out of the Championship with a league full of men and highly paid footballers.

“There’s a balance to be had and that’s what we have to do, we have to weigh up, and we have another opportunity on Wednesday to look at some of these players and see whether we’re going to take them along on the journey with us.”