Rovers will weigh up the value of adding another central defender to their ranks this summer.

Much will be learned about Tony Mowbray’s plans for his defensive options when it comes to his recruitment, but the expectation is that Darragh Lenihan and Daniel Ayala will be his first choice pairing next season.

They managed just six appearances alongside each other last season, as while Lenihan featured in 43 matches, Ayala’s outing on the final day against Birmingham City was just his 10th, and first of 2021.

Injury problems affected the Spaniard following his arrival on a three-year deal from Middlesbrough, and the 30-year-old will certainly benefit from a full pre-season when Rovers return later this month.

He has vowed to continue working closely on his fitness in the off season in a bid to return in the best shape possible.

Captain Lenihan has just a year left to run on the four-year contract he signed in 2018, and that will be something Rovers will look to address, while also thinking about their long-term options in that position.

It comes as Terell Thomas been linked with a move after running down his contract at AFC Wimbledon.

There is little to suggest currently that it more than simple agent talk and speculation at the moment as the 25-year-old looks for a new club, with Barnsley and Sunderland among those linked with the central defender.

He hasn’t played since January, and made just two matchday squads in 2021, after suffering with pneumonia in this calendar year.

His career to date has seen him play 90 times for the Dons, after previous spells in non-league with Woking and Sutton United after starting out at Wigan Athletic, though his career path shows he is looking to continue an upward trajectory.

Rovers do have three young centre halves of their own aiming to make a real breakthrough on the first-team scene which will complicate their summer recruitment, not least the injury to Scott Wharton.

Wharton played eight times before a season-ending injury at Brentford in December, with the 23-year-old not expected to return until the end of 2021.

The 23-year-old has been tipped to make a long-term impact, not least having signed a contract extension last month, and the prospect of filling that void until his return could fall on the shoulders of Hayden Carter.

The 21-year-old Academy graduate, who has three senior Rovers appearances to his name, impressed during his half season loan at Burton Albion and may take up the mantle of the third choice central defensive option until Wharton’s return.

Tyler Magloire will hope to get his name back in the conversation after finishing the season with Motherwell.

The fitness concerns surrounding 30-year-old Ayala will see Rovers assess the market, but with finances tight, they may turn to their Academy graduates to offer valuable back-up, having struggled with injuries in recent seasons, opting to bring in loanees Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jarrad Branthwaite as cover in January.