Blackburn Club Focus – Dann’s the man for Rovers as defender is reunited with Kean

Almost three months after losing prized possession Phil Jones to Premier League champions Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean turned to highly-rated defender Scott Dann as a replacement for the talented teenager. Rovers also completed the signings of 28-year-old striker Yakubu and Sheffield United starlet Jordan Slew, on what turned out to be one of the busiest transfer deadline days the Lancashire club has ever been involved in.

Indian owners Venky’s have overseen a relatively successful window of business this summer, and although it took until the final hours of the transfer window, they were able to bring the ever-optimistic Kean his number one target in the form of Dann. Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool had all been keeping tabs on the consistent 24-year-old Englishman, but in the end it was Rovers who snapped up one of the bargains of the year for a fee reported to be around the £6m mark.

After joining from recently relegated Birmingham City, Dann admitted that the prospect of linking up with Kean – who had previously coached the defender at Coventry City – played a key part in his decision to move north. The Liverpool-born centre-half, who signed a four-year deal with the Ewood Park club, said: “I’ve worked with the manager before and know what he’s about and that was a big factor for me, and with the new owners it’s a good time to come to the club.”

Dann could now form a strong partnership with skipper Chris Samba at the heart of the Rovers defence, after the Congolese giant – who has constantly been linked with a move to Arsenal or Tottenham – failed to secure a move to north London. Blackburn fans will now be hoping that both Dann, who made a total of 50 league appearances for Birmingham, and Samba, can help turn the club’s season around when the Premier League schedule returns next weekend.

Meanwhile, experienced Nigerian forward Yakubu also sealed a late switch to Ewood Park from cash-strapped Everton. The former Maccabi Haifa, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Leicester striker joined Rovers on a three-year deal for a reported £1.5m fee. Although Yakubu is hardly the marquee signing Venky’s so desperately wanted – they had been looking to sign former Real Madrid legend Raul a few weeks ago – it is hoped that the Nigerian will use his top-flight experience to add goals to this team and become a hit in Lancashire. Yakubu has scored 97 goals in 256 career league appearances and if he can recapture his form of five or six years ago, then Rovers could have a good goalscorer on their hands.

In addition to Dann, Slew and Yakubu, Blackburn have also signed Bruno Ribeiro, Radosav Petrovic, Myles Anderson, David Goodwillie and Simon Vukcevic this summer. Having been backed with the money to sign these talented players, Kean will now be expected to guide his team first to safety and then into mid-table as the season progresses.

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