Bolton started to get their January transfer dealings underway today as they moved one defender out and got one in.
Firstly, George Taft has left the club on loan, joining fellow League Two side Scunthorpe. The centre-back signed from Cambridge over the summer but has found first team football hard to come by. After being involved in both cup games at the start of the season, Taft started his only league game in the loss to Newport, and his only other football since then was in the remaining EFL Trophy games, the Newcastle fixture the only real time he showed us what he’s capable of. Alex Baptiste, Ricardo Santos and Ryan Delaney appeared to be the preferred defensive trio, and then Reiss Greenidge and Harry Brockbank have appeared to be in front of him in the pecking order.
Ian Evatt has to offload players to get others in, so Taft’s departure, while a touch surprising, makes some sense. We do have bodies in that area, unlike at left-back, and this is where we’ve signed our first player of the window, bringing in Welshman Declan John on loan from Swansea. The left back started at Cardiff where he played 20 games in their first Premier League campaign, but fell down the pecking order, and a series of loan moves, and even permanent moves to Rangers and Swansea have failed to see him get the regular football he wants.
He’s a good attacking full back, maybe not quite as good with his defensive responsibilities, so it’s worth watching as Evatt publicly spoke about moving away from the wing-back system going forward. Having said that, at anything near his best, he has to be an upgrade on the likes of Jamie Mascoll and particularly Liam Gordon, and a more natural fit that playing the likes of Gethin Jones there.