With the window about to close, not slam shut – Bolton seem to have wrapped up their deadline day business with a little time to spare.
Wanderers made three signings in the end, only one of those was a loan deal, with Anthony Georgiou arriving from Tottenham Hotspur. He’s a winger possibly in a similar mould to Thibaud Verlinden. With little real natural width in the squad, particularly after losing Will Buckley again, it was a position that had slipped under a lot of fans’ radars but needed looking at.
Two players have arrived on a permanent basis. Ryan Delaney is here for 18 months, which makes him one of a select few that are contracted beyond the end of this season. The 6ft 5in defender had been at Rochdale, where Keith Hill had signed him, but had spent the first half of the season down at Wimbledon on loan. Jacob Mellis has signed a deal until the end of the season, the midfielder again seemingly recruited through previously working with Hill and David Flitcroft at previous clubs.
James Weir has left the club altogether to get us back under the squad limit imposed by the embargo. Weir was signed by Phil Parkinson just before the season started. While he wasn’t really up to scratch, and clearly not rated by Hill, he was part of that team that played against Coventry, stepping up when nobody else did, so it would be unfair to wish him nothing but the best going forward.
Two of the younger players have been loaned out, left back Jordan Boon has gone to Atherton Colls, while George Thomasson, not long signed, has gone back to non-league football with Bamber Bridge.
There was hope of bringing Liam Bridcutt back, but Lincoln have got him. The Imps had Tyler Walker recalled by Forest so Sabri Lamouchi et al were probably quite happy to loan Bridcutt there. Likewise, a loan deal for Zach Clough never came to fruition, barring a massive late change in fortunes. Clough would have been a good acquisition, a move back home and at a level he has proven himself at could have restarted his career. Some fans had questioned his goalscoring record but he rarely played through the middle.
In all, it was always an uphill struggle to get players, given our league position and other constraints, but three signings in a day isn’t too bad, and four if you include Thursday’s deal for Kean Bryan.