Harry Pickering played every minute of Crewe’s final 24 matches, and retained the captaincy, with manager David Artell never once questioning the left back’s professionalism.

Pickering’s 11-year association with the Alex ended after their final day win over Shrewsbury Town where he came up against soon-to-be Rovers team-mate Harry Chapman.

In order to get a deal for Pickering done in January, Rovers agreed that after sealing a £650,000 switch they would loan the Academy graduate back to Gresty Road, and for boss Artell he never contemplated whether it was the right thing to do.

“I have never once questioned whether his heart is in it now because he has got his move,” the Alex boss said.

“I have never once thought he would miss a day’s training. He is the epitome of a professional footballer with a capital ‘P’. Without a shadow of a doubt. Blackburn have got a real good player. He will improve.”

Pickering leaves Crewe after first arriving at the club as an Under-11 player, and has since made 168 appearances for the club.

His challenge now, after just one season in League One, is to see whether he can make the step up to the Championship, with Rovers confident he can given his impressive displays for Crewe.

Pickering is expected to be first choice in that position, with Barry Douglas’ loan now at an end and Amari’i Bell set to depart Ewood Park at the end of his current contract.

He is the fourth left back signing Mowbray has made in two years, as Rovers look to nail down a long-term option in that position.

“Will he go straight in and hit the ground running? I don’t know, that’s the truth. But as sure as eggs are eggs, he will be striving every single day to get better and get in the team,” Artell added. 

“He will make an impact at Blackburn without a shadow of a doubt, because of his temperament, his character and his humility, and the fact he is a terrific player.”

Crewe sold right back Perry Ng to Cardiff City in January, and having lost one full back, they weren’t keen to lose another, Rovers able to do the deal after triggering a release clause in his contract.

A loan-back deal was struck, with Pickering continuing as captain, having taken on the armband after Ng’s departure which followed a lengthy suspension, and Artell, as well as the player himself, believe that extra responsibility has helped further his game.

It’s an area that Artell believes there is further growth in Pickering who signed a four-year contract at Ewood Park.

“He is quite quiet, but Perry wasn’t the loudest before him either,” he explained.

“Don’t get me wrong, Harry does speak a bit more and that is a big area for development for him.

“He is quite quiet and leads by example, it is his deeds rather than his words which I always think are more important anyway. But it has brought him out a little bit.

“He has more to come on that. He has had that responsibility and that doesn’t faze him, his temperament is unquestionable.

“If a winger beats him, it doesn’t matter, he is ‘go on, you will have to beat me again.’

“He doesn’t hide or not want the ball, he will keep coming back for more.

“So, does captaincy add more to his game? Yes, it does. How much more? I suppose the proof will be in the pudding over the next two, three, four years.”