The Club is pleased to announce the signing of Chelsea goalkeeper, Jamal Blackman, on loan.
The Chelsea youth product joins Rovers on a loan deal until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
Blackman's career began at the Chelsea, as he progressed through the academy at Stamford Bridge and was part of the young Chelsea side that won the FA Youth Cup during the 2011/12 season.
The 26-year-old stands tall between the sticks, acting as a commanding presence in the box, having steadily progressed into the senior game following a number of loan moves.
His first loan venture was to Middlesborough in 2014, where he featured in cup competitions, before moving back to Chelsea later on in the season to act as 3rd choice cover.
In March of 2016, Blackman went overseas to build more first-team experience, signing on loan for Östersunds FK where he made several appearances in the Allsvenskan, racking up valuable playing time.
Blackman returned to the UK for his next loan spells, firstly joining Wycombe Wanderers in League Two, where he was the first-choice goalkeeper for the entire campaign, claiming the award for Young Player of the Season as his side narrowly missed out on a playoff spot.
The following year, during the 2017-18 campaign, the 'keeper linked up with Sheffield United in their first season back in the Championship following promotion from League One. Blackman played a key role in solidifying the Blades' safety in the division, making 31 league appearances as the club finished 10th.
Blackman continued his progression, joining Leeds United for 2018-19 to compete for first-team opportunities alongside Bailey Peacock-Farrell. However, his time at Elland Road was cut short by injury, suffering a broken tibia in an under-23's appearance against Birmingham City. Due to the severity of the injury, Chelsea elected to recall him to aid his recovery.
This season, Blackman initially signed for Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands to continue his development and initiate his return to football.
In light of the injury sustained to Anssi Jaakkola, the goalkeeper joins the Gas for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
On the loan signing, manager Ben Garner said, “Jamal is a very talented goalkeeper and I’m delighted to welcome him to the football club.
“Jamal is someone who I actually tried to sign as a youngster at Crystal Palace, as his talent and ability was evident at an early age.
“He’s had a good upbringing at Chelsea and has benefited from a number of different loan spells throughout his career.
“The owners and recruitment team were very supportive in getting this deal done & it is a credit to the structures that we have in place that we’ve been able to secure what we think is a good deal for the football club.
“We would like to thank Chelsea for the swift nature in which the deal was concluded and I’m looking forward to working with Jamal for the remainder of the season.”