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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Banter » So where will Wanderers strengthen in the January transfer window?

So where will Wanderers strengthen in the January transfer window?

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Natasha Whittam
Norpig
karlypants
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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Wanderers look set for a busy January window as they look to get their League One season going again – but which positions are most in need of strengthening?

We look at each area of Ian Evatt’s side and examine the current options, who is due back by the New Year, and how urgent reinforcements are needed.

GOALKEEPER – Joel Dixon seems to have won the battle to be first choice keeper. Less demonstrative, and arguably influential than Matt Gilks, the former Barrow man has nevertheless become an important cog in the wheel as Evatt’s side try to play possession football from the back, taking to a sweeper-keeper role quite well.

Gilks has taken a step back and succession planning must be on Wanderers’ mind. But with other areas of the team more desperate to improve, it is likely any replacements will wait for next summer.

RIGHT BACK – Has turned into a cursed position for Bolton this season with Gethin Jones, Harry Brockbank and Lloyd Isgrove all falling foul to injuries in the last couple of months.

The loss of Jones to a fracture leg has been bigger than anyone, including Evatt, could have expected and though he has been able to find auxiliary options – including left-back Liam Gordon – the lack of cover could be a concern, even with youngster Adam Senior back in the camp.

CENTRE-BACK – Given a fit and available squad, Wanderers are relatively well-stocked at centre-back with captain Ricardo Santos a near-automatic choice alongside one of Alex Baptiste, Will Aimson and George Johnston.

It seems unlikely at this stage that Evatt will need to bring in another central defender, although like Gilkes, there will be an eye on who can come in to eventually replace Baptiste.

LEFT-BACK – A discussion continues to rumble among supporters about Declan John’s form and whether Liam Gordon has the experience to contest the Welshman, but with both options fit and available there seems little chance that Wanderers will look to bring in another left sided defender for the time being.

DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD – MJ Williams has thankfully returned to the fold after a dislocated shoulder and Andy Tutte’s return is not too far away – but Wanderers need the option to play two deeper lying midfield ‘pivots’ so competition in this position remains quite thin on the ground after Brandon Comley left the building. No other player in the Bolton squad has Williams’ physicality in the middle of the park, so can Evatt find someone with the muscle, matched with the technical skill needed to play in such a key role?

ATTACKING MIDFIELD – With Josh Sheehan out for the season and Antoni Sarcevic gone to Stockport, there is a pressing need to find a starting midfielder who can add some energy and dynamism to the team.

George Thomason has been pushed ahead of schedule and Kieran Lee asked to play more minutes than he ordinarily would, so this could be the first area that Evatt has to address when the window opens.

AFC Wimbledon’s Anthony Hartigan has already been discussed as a potential option but Wanderers have also put their feelers out for loan players from category one clubs, who would also be able to factor into their quota for the Papa John’s Trophy.

ATTACK (LEFT) – Dapo Afolayan has held the position down effectively for the season so far with no serious rival and, provided he stays fit, that seems unlikely to change.

Nathan Delfouneso has been drafted in for the cup competitions and, recently, for later cameos off the bench but looks desperately short on confidence.

Bringing in another attacking player who could play across the front positions could be on Evatt’s mind, even if Afolayan’s place appears secure.

ATTACK (RIGHT) – Wanderers want to extend Xav Amaechi’s loan from Hamburg, and all signs point to that happening in January. The former Arsenal man is still feeling his way back to full form and fitness but should eventually challenge Elias Kachunga on the right side of Evatt’s front three.

Kachunga’s versatility has been a blessing for Wanderers during their injury problems, even though his form has been inconsistent. Lloyd Isgrove’s eventual return should mean they are well-stocked but don’t be surprised if a loan option comes in.

CENTRAL STRIKER – The position which stirs up most debate among Bolton fans, bar none.

Eoin Doyle has held down the number nine role for the last 18 months and though his work-rate has remained first class in League One, his goal return can be legitimately questioned.

Amadou Bakayoko was brought in as an alternative but his struggles to stay fit must have prompted Evatt into considering an alternative.

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Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

where to start with this? Dixon is not a sweeper keeper, his distribution is poor and he lacks presence in his area. I'm not convinced he is good enough to be our number 1.

How long is Jones out for? If it's going to be months then we need a proper back up.

I would say we need a new CB to partner Santos as Johnston is rubbish and Aimson only slightly better.

We do need another attacking midfielder and a new striker is the most essential position, we just don't look like scoring at the moment

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Why would we extend Amaechi's loan stay with us? He's been injured the majority of that time, and from what little we've seen of him recently there's nothing to suggest he's good enough to have a major impact on games.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Why would we extend Amaechi's loan stay with us? He's been injured the majority of that time, and from what little we've seen of him recently there's nothing to suggest he's good enough to have a major impact on games.


Seems he was extremely highly rated as a youngster who has lost his way a bit in Germany.

Seems his attitude is good in that he's reported to have taken a big pay cut to come here and worked hard to get fit again.

If he's got the skill and the attitude then it seems to me that we trying to take a punt on trying to sign him, showcasing his talent and selling him on.

Seems to fit in with the club becoming self sustainable thinking - and possibly why we want to hang on to him for now?

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Seems he was extremely highly rated as a youngster who has lost his way a bit in Germany.

Seems his attitude is good in that he's reported to have taken a big pay cut to come here and worked hard to get fit again.

If he's got the skill and the attitude then it seems to me that we trying to take a punt on trying to sign him, showcasing his talent and selling him on.

Seems to fit in with the club becoming self sustainable thinking - and possibly why we want to hang on to him for now?


I'll play for free on Saturday. I love the club, have been a fan from birth, and am 100% fit.

If that's the criteria I demand to play on Saturday.

BoltonTillIDie

BoltonTillIDie
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

You’re too old, legs have gone.

karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:You’re too old, legs have gone.

Those saggy tits could help in net though!

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

I think we have enough versatility to get by defensively IF Evatt is prepared to tweak the system e.g. I'd be comfortable with George T playing defensive mid if MJ was injured.
Going forward the issue seems to be our lack of pace and penetration - lots of passing it around but the build up is way too slow and overelaborate so we always end up facing a packed defence.
Too much blame is laid at Doyler's door. He's missed a few but TBF he has to do so much legwork defensively and the ball is so slow getting up to him when we have it, he doesn't get the chance to do the fox in the box thing he excels at.
What we need are players who can break through the lines quickly and ruthlessly. Players that can beat a man and go direct - not sideways. Only by breaking the lines can we drag defenders out of position to create chances but our lot are so focused on keeping possession it's almost as if they won't even risk trying to run past players or have a shot.
Stick Declan Rice and Gundogan behind Doyler and we'd stroll it.

terenceanne

terenceanne
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:I think we have enough versatility to get by defensively IF Evatt is prepared to tweak the system e.g. I'd be comfortable with George T playing defensive mid if MJ was injured.
Going forward the issue seems to be our lack of pace and penetration - lots of passing it around but the build up is way too slow and overelaborate so we always end up facing a packed defence.
Too much blame is laid at Doyler's door. He's missed a few but TBF he has to do so much legwork defensively and the ball is so slow getting up to him when we have it, he doesn't get the chance to do the fox in the box thing he excels at.
What we need are players who can break through the lines quickly and ruthlessly. Players that can beat a man and go direct - not sideways. Only by breaking the lines can we drag defenders out of position to create chances but our lot are so focused on keeping possession it's almost as if they won't even risk trying to run past players or have a shot.
Stick Declan Rice and Gundogan behind Doyler and we'd stroll it.
Correct -- I think a good part of it is the system. Our lads first thought is to pass backwards or sideways. Turn, beat a man pass forward, etc -- that's what we need.  Easier said than done I grant you. 
Watching the City game last night I lost count of the thru balls played. Since Ian wants us to play like them - he should review that game for a lesson on how to do it. Obviously, we don't have their quality but in league one we should be aiming to pull it off ---- in theory.
As for January we need mid-field creativity then play two up front - and Ian to tweak the system.  That should do us for this season IMO.

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Correct -- I think a good part of it is the system. Our lads first thought is to pass backwards or sideways. Turn, beat a man pass forward, etc -- that's what we need.  Easier said than done I grant you. 
Watching the City game last night I lost count of the thru balls played. Since Ian wants us to play like them - he should review that game for a lesson on how to do it. Obviously, we don't have their quality but in league one we should be aiming to pull it off ---- in theory.
As for January we need mid-field creativity then play two up front - and Ian to tweak the system.  That should do us for this season IMO.
That's why it's a joy to watch the top teams like City, the Scousers and Chelski - the movement, pace and passing going forward is amazing and when they break through they have loads of players piling into the opposition box trying to get on to the ball and none of them are shot shy if they are best placed.
Plus they're all fit enough to do the recovery runs if it doesn't come off.
City destroyed a decent Leeds side last night. Arsenal's goal at the weekend when they played it out from the back to the other end of the pitch was brilliant - passing with intent, pace and intelligence leading to Lacazette only having one defender to beat. Can't remember the last time Doyler was left with just one defender - with our build up it's invariably two banks of four or five.

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