Officially official: Baptiste deal done as door opens wider for Sam Ricketts exit

Richard Heathcote

Bolton Wanderers have just taken a big step in strengthening their defense by confirming the capture of Alex Baptiste from Blackpool while telling Crystal Palace and Ian Holloway to keep moving all in the same breath. Alex Baptiste has become Bolton's third official signing of the off-season (fourth if you count Conor Wilkinson, who has yet to be confirmed), following Mark Tierney and Hayden White to the Reebok Stadium. Baptiste has signed a three-year deal with the Trotters.

Baptiste, who had spent much of his time at Blackpool playing as a central defender, will play as a right back in Dougie Freedman's system. With him, White, and the recovering pair of Joe Riley & Tyrone Mears, Bolton Wanderers seem to be flush with right backs. The one name not included on that list is Sam Ricketts, who, per reports, is wanted by four teams, including Wolverhampton Wanderers.

While Ricketts is certainly no longer needed at right back, his value to Bolton Wanderers doesn't end there. Last season, with injuries and poor performances abound, Ricketts spent much of his time on the left flank and in the center of the park, showing off his versatility. There is no resolution in his saga just yet but the door for his exit has just been opened a bit further.

Dougie Freedman's summer moves are not yet done as there is still plenty of talk of a winger and forward coming in.

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