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'There is a Plan B and C' - Wanderers Fans reflect on transfer hits and misses

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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On this week’s Fan’ Jury we discuss the importance of signing James Trafford on loan for the season from Manchester City – and whether it eases the pain of missing out on Marlon Fossey.

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For several weeks we have known that Ian Evatt wanted to bring James Trafford back to Bolton but found the situation worryingly out of his hands.

Would Manchester City look to put him out on loan in the Championship? Could the deal be done in time so as not to affect the pre-season? A move to Belgium was even mooted for the England Under-21 keeper.

It all worked out well in the end, albeit in a week where Bolton supporters have also had to resign themselves to another one of last season’s loanees, Marlon Fossey, being out of Evatt’s reach.

We spoke to three Wanderers fans for our weekly podcast, The Buff, to get their feelings on the one prize catch landed, and the one that got away.

“It is gutting for us fans that Marlon Fossey is not going to be joining but I don’t think he is the be-all and end-all,” said Chris Walsh. “There are other options out there.

“Yes, he was fantastic last season and he played a major part until he got injured in the success we had during that period. He is one of a few wingbacks we had who could get forward as well as getting back.

“But I trust in Ian (Evatt) and Sharon (Brittan) and that they have every intention of filling that spot. Every faith in their decision to move on if that is what they think is best for the club.

“If worst comes to worst we have Gethin Jones, as much as I preferred him playing in the three with Rico and Johnston or Iredale. It will be interesting to see.”

On Trafford, he added: “Taking nothing away from Joel Dixon, who had a rough start, as soon as Traff came in you could see across the whole back five that there was so much more calm with a trusted keeper behind them.

“We really needed to get things sorted early with a keeper and I am just buzzing at the prospect.”

Wanderers fan Matty Lawrenson believes moving on from Fossey could actually work in Wanderers’ favour over the longer term.

“I think James Trafford coming in softened the blow a little bit,” he said. “I believe we are looking at other players. He will be a huge miss, but I think we can move on from it because we are strong enough, squad wise.

“Football moves quickly. We seem to pick up good young players who have quality about them, I’m excited to see what they do.

“I just think there is a feelgood factor around the club that hasn’t been here for years, at least until Sharon came along, and the trust between the owners, where we are going, it all seems to have come together now.”

Lawrenson hopes to see Wanderers maintain the momentum they showed in the second half of last season to make a serious charge for promotion this time around.

“We don’t want to be starting in January, we want to go from the start,” he added. “I reckon we can make at least play-offs next season.”

Finally, Shaun Myers suspects finance might be behind Wanderers’ decision to pull out of a permanent move for Fulham defender Fossey.

“On reflection, with his injury record and other factors, wages he might have been asking for or that his agent was asking for, it isn’t the end of the world,” he told us.

“I would expect there is a plan B and C in place. It isn’t ideal and I’d loved to have had him back for a full season, but we can move on.”

Myers believes Evatt’s squad is only a couple of signings away from being strong enough to challenge for the play-offs in League One.

“I think Trafford was more important to get in than Fossey,” he said. “I think getting Santos sorted was the best piece of business we have done but we had to get that number one position done.

“I was surprised when he got that England Under-21 call-up, I thought he would get a move to a Championship club. I don’t know what other offers he had.

“I’d have loved to have them both – but I think we’re not too far off now.

“Josh Sheehan will be like a new signing, I wouldn’t mind another forward player and a solid right wing-back option and I think they can get into the top six.”

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