Steve Evans feels Gillingham have pulled out something of a coup by landing Dominic Samuel on a free transfer.

The striker will return to the Priestfield Stadium where he scored seven times during a loan spell in 2015/16 and finds himself a club after his release by Rovers in July.

A move to Rotherham United had been on the cards for the 26-year-old, and Gillingham say there was other Championship interest in Samuel who they have landed as a free agent, though haven’t disclosed the length of his contract.

Samuel spent three years at Ewood Park after a £500,000 switch from Reading, scoring seven times in 59 appearances of what was an injury-hit time at the club.

The forward wasn’t involved in Rovers’ final two matches of last season, but did feature heavily after lockdown and will now look to kick on his career with the League One side.



And manager Evans was delighted to get Samuel signed up having been keen on the move ever since he became available.

The Gills boss said: “I first spoke to Dominic’s representatives on the completion of the Championship season to establish if the player was staying with Blackburn because he had played a significant part for them at the back end of the season.

“On learning from Tony Mowbray that was not the case, we had long discussions about the opportunity of Dominic coming back to Gillingham.

“There has been significant interest in the player and it has become clear in the last three weeks that the interest has come from the Championship's newly promoted clubs, and top end of League One.

“We look forward to him helping us achieve our aspirations for the season ahead and bringing some experience to a very youthful dressing room.

“His signing still fits our strategy and desire for being young and hungry for the season ahead, he is a brilliant addition.”

Samuel will wear the No.9 shirt at Gillingham and returns to the club where he first struck up an understanding, and friendship, with Bradley Dack.

He passed a medical on Monday before the deal was announced later that day, and Samuel feels he has made a smart choice in returning to the League One club.

“It was a no brainer to be fair, I did well during my loan spell here and I felt it was the right choice for me. The gaffer made me feel welcome and after meeting him several times I really wanted to play for him,” Samuel told his new club’s website.

“There is a great bunch of boys here, I want to be playing regular games and be somewhere where I felt comfortable and the gaffer showed me a desire to be here.”