The ongoing summer saga has finally settled, with Rovers today announcing that number #1 and shot-stopper, Thomas Kaminski has stepped up to the Premier League, joining Luton Town for an undisclosed fee, reportedly in the region of £2.5m, which includes add-ons.
The 30-year-old, who joined Rovers in 2020 on an initial two-year-deal for a fee of around €500,000, became the first Belgian to play in the Blue and White halves of Rovers when former manager, Tony Mowbray, signed him, as he quickly became a fan’s favourite with a string of impressive performances which quickly led to him being named as the Supporter’s Player of the Season as he kept 10 clean-sheets, during his maiden campaign in East Lancashire, despite Rovers’ bottom-half finish of 15th in the 2020-21 campaign.
His fine displays between Rovers’ goalposts continued into 2021-22 as Rovers narrowly missed out on securing a playoff spot by six points, despite his own fine displays which saw him improve on his initial tally of 10 clean-sheets, by collecting 13, as the team failed to capitalise post-January and eventually petered out into 8th position, before a sea of change engulfed Ewood Park. Despite the changes that were to come in the summer of 2022, with the change in structure within the hierarchy and the dugout, Kaminski did manage to earn an extended contract in February 2022, which saw him extend his Ewood deal until 2025, which fended off any Premier League interest that had been circling in the January window prior to him putting pen-to-paper.
Despite his own future secure, Rovers saw Jon Dahl Tomasson takeover from the departing Tony Mowbray in June 2022, as Kaminski again showed his quality during the first-half of the campaign where he notched 10 clean-sheets from 28 appearances as Rovers spent most of the first-half of the campaign inside the top six, despite not drawing a game until Matchday 28. That game – a 1-1 draw away against Bristol City – proved to be Kaminski’s final game of the season, as he suffered a knee injury that required surgery which set him back between four-to-six weeks. As a result of his absence, Aynsley Pears stepped up and took the reins, keeping goal until the end of the season, as Rovers narrowly missed out on both, a Wembley appearance in the FA Cup Semi-Final and a top-six spot on the final day, finishing 7th on goal-difference.
As uncertainty over Kaminski’s future grew with reported interest increasing, following the club’s decision to extend Pears’ contract by four years, newly-promoted Luton Town saw their opportunity to pounce in order to fill the gap left by on-loan shot-stopper Ethan Horvath, which saw them take the punt, following protracted negotiations, given their Premier League riches.
Kaminski – who we voted as Tony Mowbray’s best signing during the ex-gaffer’s five-year stint – departs the club with the best wishes of the fanbase after 33 clean-sheets in 118 games and a Player of the Season Trophy to his name.
Prior to his departure, the shot-stopper sat down with RoversTV to thank Rovers and their fans for their support over the last three years:
“I want to say a massive thank you to the club for giving me the opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream of mine to play in English football and it was an absolute pleasure to do it with such a big club with a big history as Blackburn Rovers.
“I also want to say a massive thank you to the fans for all the love and support they have shown me over the last three years and to all the backroom staff at Brockhall and Ewood who have helped me feel so at home at the club since the day I arrived.
“I must also give a special mention to Ben Benson for everything he has done for me both personally and professionally. I will be forever grateful.
“I have mixed emotions about leaving, because I genuinely love the club and the people in it, but the chance to play and test myself in the Premier League is just too good an opportunity to turn down.
“I have really enjoyed my time in Blackburn, it has been a special time in my career, and I wish the club the best of luck for the future.”
Best of Luck, TK! 🇧🇪
(🎥 = TikTok & Match footage courtesy of Rovers)