After their surprise relegation to League One at the end of the 2016/17 season, Blackburn Rovers will have been eager to see an immediate return to the second tier.
The campaign got off to a good start and as the January transfer window arrived, Rovers found themselves in with a very good chance of securing an automatic promotion spot.
But with plucky Shrewsbury Town hanging to their heels that place was far from certain and a strong mid-season window looked like it could be what pushed them over the line.
Adam Armstrong, Jack Payne and Paul Downing all came into the club as did one of the division’s most impressive defenders.
This is FLW Rewind where we take a look back at a big decision made by a club, analyse the initial reaction and document what happened next.
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) January 19, 2018
When we say an impressive defender that could be slightly misleading.
Amari’i Bell’s attacking abilities had been one of struggling Fleetwood Town’s most important weapons and was even employed as a left-winger frequently.
He was brought to Ewood Park for just over £250,000 and as a proven League One talent, he was the sort of signing that Rovers fans were hoping to see:
Another good signing by TM ????
— Mick Isherwood (@Tish_BRFC) January 19, 2018
Welcome Amarii! ⚪️???? #upthefootballleaguewego
— Mr Nobody (@jongardner1979) January 19, 2018
We’re going up mate TMBWA !!!
— ????⚪️ ????⚪️ (@Ku3O0z) January 19, 2018
And he would go on to completely vindicate this initial reaction.
Predominantly playing in his original left-back position, Bell was eased into Mowbray’s squad but was still able to impress with his attacking bursts.
Rovers secured second-place and Bell was set to be a star for season’s to come.
And so far that has proved true.
In the current Championship season with Bell becoming a permanent figure on the left side of an impressive Rovers defence.
He has started 14 of the club’s 16 league matches so far and has continued to be a menace down the left-wing.