Doncaster Rovers transfer window analysis: Darren Ferguson is building a squad with pace, power and lots of potential

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

It wasn’t that long ago that Doncaster Rovers were on a downward spiral with an ageing, underperforming squad.

All too often since those heady days in the Championship, the Keepmoat Stadium was becoming home to players either seeking a final pay day in the EFL or those who simply saw Doncaster as a springboard to something better.

Well times have changed under Darren Ferguson, who has assembled a group of hungry young players, the majority of whom have their best years ahead of them.

Four transfer windows and 22 months into the job, the Scot has not only significantly reduced the average age of the squad, but also vastly improved its collective athleticism, pace and flexibility.

While his first summer was about rebuilding the spine of the squad, bringing in the likes of John Marquis, Tommy Rowe and Mathieu Baudry, his work over the last few months has added more energy, more youthfulness and even more potential for improvement and future success.

Niall Mason, Issam Ben Khemis and Alex Kiwomya, like Ian Lawlor, should be bursting with enthusiasm to work their way back up the football ladder.

Danny Andrew was another with a point to prove, something sadly jettisoned by his serious knee injury. Rovers must be praised for the swift recruitment of replacement left back Harry Toffolo.

And while there might be a slight over-reliance once again on loan players, there can be no questioning the quality that Ben Whiteman, Rodney Kongolo and the returning Jordan Houghton bring to the party. Doncaster look like a much more dynamic unit this season, thanks in no small part to their new-look midfield.

The final piece of the jigsaw would have been that illusive experienced centre back.

But, as in the case of Steven Taylor who returns to the Keepmoat this weekend in the colours of Peterborough, that would have come at a significant cost in terms of wages.

It also would have blocked the path to the first team for Joe Wright, another Ferguson recruit who has been one of the most consistent performers during the first month of this season.

Wright, Marquis, Alfie May and Liam Mandeville also look like genuine on-field assets that, further down the line, could potentially make the club a significant profit. And when was the last time you could say that?

Things are definitely changing under Ferguson, seemingly for the better.