Tony Mowbray says there was surprise that Rovers were able to land Harvey Elliott – with age no barrier to the club’s decision to bring him in from Liverpool.

Elliott, shortlisted for the EFL young player of the year, felt Rovers took a risk on an untried talent when signing him on a season-long loan but for Mowbray he had never had such doubts.

Indeed, the Rovers boss said he didn’t know that the teenager would even be available for loan when Rovers first enquired, feeling their attacking options were in need of a boost.

And Mowbray says he will now watch with interest what the future holds for Elliott who has scored six goals and contributed 11 assists in his 40 Rovers matches.

“I wasn’t sure that we were going to get him. Why did we go for him? I like talent,” Mowbray said.

“He is an unbelievable talent and he was when he took him and he is today.

“I watched him in training and he almost scored a goal, Pearsy (Aynsley Pears) made a brilliant save, where he ran through six men and had a shot from the edge of the box, it was like the ball was stuck to his boot.

“He is a great kid, he wants to introduce himself to everyone, he’s an amazing young guy, he’s got personality so he can get tetchy.  We haven’t fallen out but we’ve had words on some occasions and he’s a brilliant football player.

“We took him because he’s got class and we knew that he was going to help us. It didn’t matter that he was 17.”

Tyrhys Dolan had started the season on the right of the Rovers attack, with Sam Gallagher injured, and Harry Chapman unable to break into the first-team picture, and later loaned to Shrewsbury Town in January.

Rovers had hoped that Dan Butterworth would have been able to make the step-up to become a regular in the senior set-up this season, but an injury setback has seen him yet to feature for the first-team.

And that is what prompted to make a deadline day move for Elliott who has gone on to feature in every match since his arrival.

“I think we needed another option,” Mowbray explained.

“With Harvey we got a double bubble really, he can play deeper and slide Armstrong in or he can play in the top line and try and threaten the goal. He was picking up assists and putting our strikers away.

“It was about putting more attacking options in the building."

Rovers will face a similar conundrum in the summer, with Bradley Dack sidelined by a second ACL injury, and the prospect of Adam Armstrong moving on.

Ben Brereton and Sam Gallagher will be expected to lead more of the goalscoring charge next term, but the prospect of a return for Elliott will come down to Liverpool’s plan for his future

Mowbray added: “I’m interested, moving forward, how quickly his career is going to progress, what are Liverpool going to do with him? Is he going to go on loan again but to the Premier League, is he looking to go to a Championship club, is he going to go into their squad?

“That’s down to Jurgen to decide of course but it’ll be interesting to observe what their thoughts are with Harvey Elliott.”