Joe Rothwell has got his move to Bournemouth, and the Premier League, following his departure from Rovers.

Rothwell’s four-year stay at Ewood Park ended after the midfielder turned down the offer of a new contract.

A host of clubs, including all three sides promoted from the Championship, were linked with a move for the 27-year-old, but it is Bournemouth who have won the race for his signature.

The Cherries pushed hard to sign Rothwell in the January transfer window, but Rovers held firm, rejecting bids in the region of £3m.

That saw Rothwell see out the remainder of the season with Rovers, but then leave on a free transfer.

It had always been expected that Rothwell would make the move to the Vitality Stadium, given their long-standing interest, yet Nottingham Forest came in with an offer, with boss Steve Cooper a known admirer.

Yet Bournemouth have won the race, now announcing the signing of Rothwell.

Rothwell was Rovers’ first signing after winning promotion from League One, having initially tried to sign him in the January window of 2018 from Oxford United, a similar scenario that has played out with Bournemouth.

His first two seasons with Rovers saw him make more substitute appearances than starts, but he began to establish himself in the side in the Project Restart matches of 2020.

After that, he became a regular fixture in the side in his favoured central role, with 2021/22 his best season in terms of appearances (43), goals (3) and assists (10) as he played a key part in Rovers’ push for the play-offs.

His form, along with that of the team, dipped after his failed January move to Bournemouth, left out of the team for the 0-0 draw with Luton Town as speculation over his future intensified.

He leaves having made 99 league starts for Rovers, and 161 appearances in all, scoring 11 goals.


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