Every Rovers player contracted for next season was either handed their debut, or signed, by Tony Mowbray.

But are there members of the squad who could benefit from the input of a new head coach?

Sam Gallagher could well fall into that category.

When the club posted a video of Jon Dahl Tomasson meeting the players for the first time, a point not lost on many watching was his embrace with Gallagher, during which he uttered the words ‘ah, a striker’.

Rovers then followed that up with a picture of the pair shaking hands with the caption ‘strikers union’.

Gallagher’s position has been combed over to great degree, with the player, now 26, coming into his fourth full season at the club.

Given Adam Armstrong stepped up in the absence of Bradley Dack, then Ben Brereton after the sale of Armstrong, the potential loss of the Chilean this summer has led to the thinking that this could be Gallagher’s time to shine.

It was a narrative started by Mowbray himself late on in the season, but the feeling that under the guidance of Tomasson, there is more to come from Gallagher.

With nine in 2021/22, eight in 2020/21 and seven in 2019/20, there feels a naturally symmetry to Gallagher at least hitting double figures next term, his best return of his career coming in his Rovers loan spell of 2016/17 when he hit 12 goals.

Having studied the information available on Tomasson’s Malmo team, his most recent managerial experience, he has preferred to play with one central striker.

In possession, it becomes something of a 4-2-4, two holding midfielders providing the cover, full backs providing the width, the wingers playing narrow and the No.10 joining the central striker in attack.

Swedish international striker Isaac Kiese Thelin was Tomasson’s preferred striker of choice. At 6’2 he had the physical capabilities of leading the line, even if his mobility wouldn’t quite match that of Gallagher’s.

He hit 25 goals in 46 league games across Tomasson’s time in charge.

Watching clips of Tomasson’s Malmo, he likes his side to move the ball forward at pace, and relies on the central striker making runs in behind.

Gallagher’s main strength is running towards the opposition goal, while Tomasson also likes to see his striker close down from the front, workrate never in question when it comes to the Rovers forward.

Mowbray often looked to maximise that from the wide areas, preferring a ‘false nine’ through the middle, flanked by two ‘wide strikers’.

Gallagher started 28 of Rovers’ 46 matches, not helped by an injury absence late in 2021, but only nine of those came playing as a recognised central striker.

He scored in three of those, with Rovers collecting 15 points in the process.

John Buckley touched on Gallagher’s role after the impressive win at Preston North End in April, where both were on the scoresheet, believing the striker’s ability to stretch the opposition backline gave the Rovers midfielders more room to manoeuvre.

One area that Gallagher will be aiming to improve is his headed goals, only one coming via that method, off the bench to settle the game against Derby County in March.

He showed his ability to score from outside the box with his goal of the season contender against Middlesbrough, with Mowbray regularly talking up the power in his right foot.

It will be down to Gallagher, and Tomasson, now to harness the best of his qualities. Competition for that No.9 position could well arrive this summer, with Rovers having overlooked a striker signing in both the summer and January windows in 2020/21.

But it seems Gallagher will have first chance to impress the new head coach.

Gallagher hasn’t had the luxury of a full pre-season for many of his seasons at Rovers, and that will be his first aim, giving him the best possible chance of starting the campaign at full throttle.

His goals from last season all came within the width of the posts, a combination of close-range finishes, rebounds, and one long-range stunner, as well as the header against Derby.

The hope will be that Gallagher can get himself into more of those positions in a quest to build on his goal tally.

Two goals, against Cardiff City and Blackpool, came from balls over the top, one even delivered by goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, and it would seem that running power would fit well with Tomasson looks for from his teams.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Swansea (H): Gallagher on hand to apply the finish on the opening day after Ben Brereton was denied by the goalkeeper.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Middlesbrough (A): No hesitation as Gallagher took aim from outside the box, a shot that went in via the post.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Cardiff (H): An excellent touch and finish as Gallagher pulled off the shoulder of the last defender to collect a Buckley pass.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Coventry (H): Up in support of the attack after Joe Rothwell robbed possession, his first time finish found the net from the pull-back.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Reading (H): The simplest of finishes, Gallagher on hand to tap home after Rothwell was denied by the post.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Middlesbrough (H): Precision finish on the turn as Gallagher found the corner with an instinctive low right foot shot.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Derby (H): His one headed goal of the season, pulling away to the far post to divert home a Ryan Giles cross.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Blackpool (H): As route one as it comes. A long kick forward from Thomas Kaminski was collected by Gallagher, and while his touch wasn’t the best, he was able to still lift the ball over the advancing keeper and into the corner.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Preston North End (A): One of only two goals scored away from home, Gallagher reacting quickest to the ball coming off the post to bravely head home from close range.