That is the verdict of Rovers assistant boss Frank Sinclair who revealed the midfielder has kept a detailed dossier of the fitness work he has undertaken since finding himself without a club.
Clayton saw his contract terminated by Birmingham City in November and has not played a senior game in the last 12 months.
He signed an 18-month deal with the option for a further year with Rovers on Tuesday and Sinclair is confident he will be ready to feature soon.
“He’s looked after himself,” Sinclair told the Free Press.
“He came in and he’d got proof of the way he’d been keeping himself fit which was excellent to see. Sometimes players just tell you what they’ve been doing, road running and stuff. But he had it all documented so we knew exactly where he was at when he came into the building last week.
“I’ve been there before and it can be very difficult trying to keep yourself fit on your own, when you’re isolated and haven’t been training with a club.
“In the meantime he’d been in with a couple of clubs and trained with them for a while.
“He had an offer from a different club, which was a very good offer, but it wasn’t suitable for him geographically.
“The one with us was excellent for both parties and I feel he has the ambition not just for this season, to not just affect us staying in the league but also with recruitment next season, he could play a big part in that as well.”
Securing an experienced player in the heart of midfield was a top priority for Rovers during the latest transfer window.
Clayton has more than 450 senior appearances to his name, with 34 in the Premier League with Middlesbrough.
Sinclair said: “It’s no secret to the fact we’ve got two young lads on loan in [Matt] Smith and [Ethan] Galbraith that have helped their own in the middle of the park but we’ve missed the experience side of it with the injuries we’ve had.
“We felt it was very important, with the games we’ve got in the run in, that we needed a voice, a good player, someone to guide these talented young players through games.
“I think it can only make us stronger in the run-in.
“He came in a week ago, sat down with me and the gaffer, had a good chat and we liked what we heard about his ambitions still in the game and what he felt he could bring to the club with his experience and his ability.
“He’s been a top player and played at a very good level for most of his career.
“I feel he can affect our players on and off the pitch.
“He’s another character in a similar vein as Tommy Rowe, wanting to do things right, giving the right messages to the younger members of the squad.
“I think he’ll have a big part to play between now and the end of the season.”