Rovers didn’t replace Adam Armstrong, but then they never could. 

Only one player in the whole division scored more than Armstrong’s 28 league goals last season, that man being Ivan Toney whose 31 were the most ever of a striker in the Championship. Only three players had ever bettered 28  – Toney, Glenn Murray and Teemu Pukki.

What Rovers could have done, and what was seemingly the intention of Tony Mowbray, was to add a number of attacking players to help support those already at the club and between them come somewhere close to filling the lost goals, factoring in the seven scored by Harvey Elliott who returned to Liverpool after his loan spell.

Sam Gallagher and Ben Brereton were always going to have to step up given both the investment in them and the bedding in period afforded by Armstrong’s scoring spree since their arrivals.

The season has started well for the pair, five goals between them in five games, already a third of the way to matching their combined 15 of last season.

The attacking threat added in the window comes in the form of Leeds United’s Ian Poveda and Brighton winger Reda Khadra, but with Harry Chapman, brought on in three of the five matches so far, having now moved on, the pair will only be added to Tyrhys Dolan and Dan Butterworth as the challenge to Gallagher and Brereton.

Those who have been calling for Gallagher to be used more centrally could now get their wish, though only at the weekend the manager warned of how Brereton and Gallagher, having played all but 17 minutes of the season so far, couldn’t keep going at the intensity they have been across the 46-game season without some help.

And that was a word that continued to crop up throughout the window, Mowbray wanting competition and help for the group he has got. With the efforts they have put in so far, it felt the least they deserved.

By the end, Rovers didn’t even do the ‘five loan minimum’ outlined by Mowbray, and as the dust settles, they feel at least one option light, with a spot having gone begging.

The loans were boosted by the permanent addition of Tayo Edun. His arrival fits the criteria of Rovers’ recent signings, a good age, 23, at a good price, £500,000, and with plenty of room to grow and develop.

The expectation, confirmed by Mowbray, was that any fees spent in the window would be on a forward player, but for the second window in a row, that was reserved for a left back, though Edun does have the versatility to play further forward.

A problem position in the past has been addressed, this Rovers’ fifth left back signing on deadline day since 2017, yet since Lewis Holtby’s free agent in signing in September 2019, the next four windows have only brought three permanent outfield signings in Daniel Ayala, Harry Pickering and Edun.

Rovers went into last summer needing goalkeepers and three arrived on permanent deals. Twelve months on the issue is at the other end of the pitch and no such players have arrived.

That hasn’t been something Rovers have had to worry about too much in recent years. From Rhodes and Gestede, on to Graham and Dack, and then Armstrong, as well as the money spent on Gallagher and Brereton, it meant Rovers weren’t often searching for a striker when others were clamouring to add in that area.

Yet they ended up in a position where, despite the sale of their star man, deals drifted away and with it the window drew to a close. Their hope being they have the fall-back options of what they already had.

The Armstrong departure was always going to be a difficult one to negotiate, as while always expected, acquiring the fee the club felt was the right figure came against the backdrop of a deflated market, an expiring contract and a large sell-on clause.

Yet the deal was wrapped up by August 10, still three weeks left in the window. Mowbray said he had been watching Michael Obafemi, who moved from Southampton to Swansea City on deadline day, for three months before confirming the club’s interest, and other such research will have been carried out on countless players.

Yet as the deadline approached on August 31, it felt Rovers had nowhere to go.

Another important date in the summer calendar was July 7 when that the transfer embargo was lifted, yet by July 29, Mowbray revealed he had received no guarantees over receiving any funds from the prospective sale of Armstrong, with the first signing coming on August 16 in the form of Leighton Clarkson, although it would have been six days earlier were it not for Khadra’s injury.

Were it not for the Edun signing, it could have been seen as Rovers operating in a self-imposed embargo.

Dissenting voices have grown louder after a window that threw up more questions than it did answers, though others would point to the perilous financial state, a positive start to the season and the Academy options through as offering some solace.

Yet a combination of loan signings and difficulty extending player contracts will catch up with Rovers soon enough, and as things stand, next summer may be that point.