Tony Mowbray says transfer interest in Adam Armstrong this summer will be both understandable and inevitable after his third hat-trick of the season helped Rovers to a 5-2 win over Birmingham City.

Armstrong ended the season with 28 Championship goals, and 28 for the season, the most of any Rovers player since Alan Shearer in the 1995/96 campaign.

The 24-year-old is expected to attract interest from the Premier League as a result, with the striker coming into the final 12 months of his Ewood Park deal, and finished the 2020/21 season with nine goals in his final six games.

“That’s fine, so they should, they’re not doing their job if they’re not looking at Adam Armstrong,” Mowbray said of the likelihood of interest.

“That’s out of my control. For Adam’s sake let’s hope the phone rings and someone offers us a ridiculous amount of money, we shake him by the hand and we say go and bang in loads of goals in the Premier League and we’ll use some of that money in the team and can find another striker who can bang loads of goals in.

“That’s football, that’s happened since the game started. He’s shown what a talent he is, he could have had five today, my analyst is saying the first one wasn’t offside, but there you go.

“Let’s keep rolling, see what the summer brings for Adam and the team.

“There’s a few players out there at the end who won’t be here next season but that’s okay, every team has to evolve and grow and develop and young players will get more experience and see whether they can hit the mark and take us where we want to go.”

Rovers ended the season with a hat-trick of Ewood wins, having beaten Huddersfield Town 5-2 and Derby County 2-1 in their previous two home fixtures.

And after another five star performance, Mowbray said: “I thought the team played okay, we scored five in our last home game and I said that we should have scored five at Rotherham as well but we didn’t.

“The team are functioning again, for whatever reason, I would be wary of saying that the pitch has been better than it has been through the winter, and we can now play with more fluency.

“It doesn’t really matter, it didn’t mean anything other than I told them to go and play with freedom and express themselves, create chances and score goals and we did that.”

Rovers have already confirmed the departures of Lewis Holtby, Corry Evans and Stewart Downing, and several more senior players are expected to move on this summer.

Five loanees were also on the club’s books come the end of the season, with Harvey Elliott on target on his farewell appearance.

“There are definitely holes in the team that need filling,” Mowbray added.

“We have out of contract players and loan players, you saw Harvey Elliott score a wonder goal today, he won’t be here next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s playing for Liverpool in the Premier League next season.

“The likes of Corry Evans and Stewy Downing who have both contributed, Corry got two great assists today, they will be leaving the club so I personally thank those lads who have been on the journey with us these last few years and wish them well.

“It’s not a concern, like every football club it evolves and brings new players, Academy products through and gives them the chance to be in the team.

“We will shake these lads by the hand who are leaving, wish them well and let the next generation come forward.”