Director of football Gregg Broughton has revealed that Rovers nearly missed out on signing Leo Wahlstedt.

Wahlstedt arrived at Ewood Park from Norwegian club Odds BK following Thomas Kaminski’s move to Premier League newcomers Luton.

The Swedish shot stopper made his debut during the emphatic 8-0 win at Harrogate in the Carabao Cup, making a couple of smart stops in the first half.

Reports in Scandinavia claimed Wahlstedt had been close to a move to Brondby before Rovers made their move, and Broughton confirmed this was the case.

“(The window) started off where we had intended to be from February and we did three pieces of business very early, with long-term targets coming into the club,” he told BBC’s Football Daily Podcast.

“We then had a little bit of a lull and had some potential players leaving the club, one of those in the end did – Thomas Kaminski.

“We were lucky because our number one goalkeeper target was about to move to Brondby in Denmark and we were able to bring him in. Otherwise, we would have had to drop a little bit further down the list on that.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Wahlstedt in action at Harrogate last monthWahlstedt in action at Harrogate last month (Image: Camerasport)

Another major talking point over the summer was Ben Brereton’s move to Villarreal on a free transfer, having turned down the offer of a new deal at Rovers.

Broughton explained the factors the club had to consider in the summer of 2022 when the forward could have been sold for a fee.

“I came into the club in June last year and at that stage, it was clear he wasn’t going to sign a new contract,” he continued.

“Last summer was a critical decision-making process and our owners had a very clear price they had set for him.

“The summer before, they used the same tactic with (Adam) Armstrong and in the end I think Southampton paid above what their valuation was in order for him to go there. I completely understand why they wanted to same strategy for Ben last summer.

“We didn’t have offers that got anywhere near what their valuation was so with about a week to go in the window, we had to make a critical decision.

Lancashire Telegraph: Brereton joined Villarreal on a free transfer over the summerBrereton joined Villarreal on a free transfer over the summer (Image: Camerasport)

“Do we sell him under that value and try to recoup some of it or do we keep him because of the value he adds to the team? We made that call knowing he was unlikely to extend his contract.”

Bradley Dack also departed Ewood Park over the summer, with the likes of Niall Ennis, Arnor Sigurdsson and Semir Telalovic arriving in East Lancashire to bolster Jon Dahl Tomasson’s strike department.

“We knew we wouldn’t have big funds to spend in this window, I had no problem with that,” Broughton stated.

“I think you can be your most creative when you are working under those kinds of challenges.

“Ben is a terrific footballer and I think he will go on to have a great career in Spain and continuing with the national team in Chile. But we saw some of our very best performances last season when he wasn’t available for selection.

“For example, Leicester City away in the FA Cup. How we weren’t four or five goals ahead before they scored a late goal to make it tight at the end, I don’t know.

“We were prepared for that. We knew what it meant - both tactically and in the transfer market – and we were fully prepared for it.”

Prior to the arrivals of Telalovic and James Hill in the final days of the window, Tomasson had admitted the squad was light in numbers in some areas.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rovers boss Jon Dahl TomassonRovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson (Image: Camerasport)

“Jon is no different to any other head coach I have ever worked with,” said Broughton. “They want transfers, they want the very best players to work with.

“Jon is a top coach and I absolutely believe he will be working in a top five league – hopefully with us via promotion. But if not, via us onto one of those leagues.

“He has an excellent level of detail and planning. He is a really good communicator.

“He is just everything you would want and that is one of the reasons we identified and brought him here. That is not a surprise, we haven’t landed on that by accident.

“He is demanding, he pushes you. We push him as well and we get to where we want to go to. I think it is a really healthy working environment because of that.”

A lengthy process takes place before any additions at Rovers, and Broughton insists they have done their “due diligence” on the new signings.

“We sit down in February and say, ‘These are the positions we want to recruit into’. That might change slightly as each month goes on and you review it every three or four weeks,” he added.

“But once we have got the positions aligned, the recruitment are doing their work behind-the-scenes – both by being physically at games and looking at data, doing all of the due diligence you need to.

“At that stage, a list of names is produced for each position and we go through them.

“Ultimately, at that stage you are presenting them to the head coach based on the playing philosophy and style of the club, which we are really aligned on.

“At that stage, he is saying, ‘That is the one I want’ or ‘Those are the two we should focus on, can we go and get those deals done?’

“Then, I come in along with our head of recruitment, Sean (Kimberley), and we are trying to push the deals over the line.”

The next stage is meeting with players, but this can only happen once permission has been granted by their respective clubs.

“Jon’s player meetings are excellent – the players are sometimes on the back foot because it is almost like a job interview with all the questions he is asking them,” Broughton smiled.

“Some of the players give it back as good as they get as well, so they are really enjoyable experiences.”