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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Bolton have already started window shopping, says Chris Markham

Bolton have already started window shopping, says Chris Markham

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Bolton have already started window shopping, says Chris Markham 13008718

Chris Markham says Wanderers are already narrowing down options for the January transfer window - and beyond.

The technical performance director confirmed that two full-time recruitment analysts have now been appointed at the University of Bolton Stadium, with the department now looking to supply Ian Evatt with information on a list of potential signings in the coming weeks.

Wanderers got most of their business done early in the summer window and are keen to avoid the manic late rushes of years gone by.

So while options have already been identified for January to strengthen Bolton's chances of a promotion push in League One, the club also has one eye on what wiull be available in next summer's market.

“We have identified areas we want to improve and those we feel we need more depth, or different options," Markham told The Bolton News.

"It is easier now because we can go away and be quite specific with what our targets are, whereas when I started back in January it was a case of 'everything' - and we'd be getting what was available or try for it, within reason.

“Now we can be selective. Now the window is shut and there are fewer Tuesday games myself, Ian, Neil Hart and the board can sit down and start fine-tuning.

“The next stage for this club isn’t the January window. It is January and succession planning for the summer window. Eventually, we’ll be looking at three as we evolve the team.

“It is all about giving ourselves the best chance for doing what we all want to do – first get in the Championship and then from there, the sky is the limit.”

Markham was pleased with Wanderers’ recruitment in the previous window, which included the likes of Joel Dixon, Josh Sheehan and Amadou Bakayoko, plus the permanent arrivals of Declan John and Dapo Afolayan.

And he believes the club now has a responsibility to improve the new arrivals with the expertise they can offer on the training ground.

“We have made some really good signings, I think, and some might turn out to be not-so-good, but we try and mitigate as much risk as possible,” he said.

“The main thing is that if we focus on performance and getting better processes, better staff working with these players, then we should be recruiting players every day.

“A lot of clubs make the mistake of ‘oh, we have signed them once, you are a football player, you know what to do.’ “But we should be trying to re-recruit them, giving them better support, environment and information.”

Improving players in the existing squad is not limited to new signings, Markham notes.

“People like Baps and Gillo last season were still improving their game with their experience and what they have achieved in the game and that set a really good culture,” he said.

“Now when we bring the signings in, myself and Ian have been able to be a bit more specific and have a good chance of being able to play in our system and be effective.

“But when we meet with all these players we tell them we will improve them. I think if you look at those we have brought in we made a conscious effort to add assets, i.e. players 26 and under.

“It isn’t a case of ‘assets to sell’ more than they have scope to improve, so we have scope to improve as a team as well. It isn’t just financial – we feel that under Ian’s tutelage, all of them can improve as players.

“I think you’ll see that really clearly over the next six to 12 months, the difference from when we came in is huge because he has been given more support on recruitment and performance.

“Dapo is a good example. Liam Gordon is another really interesting one. They will all go through tough patches – George Johnston, Josh Sheehan – but the real test is when we get the chance to work with them.”


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