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Wanderers' Wafer Thin Squad Laid Bare

Having lost Adam Bogdan, and with Darren Pratley yet to have confirmed his future at the club, we take a look at Wanderers' concerning lack of established and experienced first-team players

Keeping hold of Darren Pratley becomes even more important after Adam Bogdan's departure
Keeping hold of Darren Pratley becomes even more important after Adam Bogdan's departure
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Adam Bogdan's departure to Liverpool this week leaves Bolton Wanderers with just 11 players that have played more than one season at Championship level or better.

The goalkeeper's move makes Bolton's retention of Darren Pratley increasingly vital if they are to have any chance of proving the bookmakers wrong and improving on last season. This time last year I, like most Wanderers fans, didn't think keeping Pratley would be important, and would have been more than happy to see him leave at the expiry of his contract this summer. But his improvement in form under Neil Lennon, and the general lack of experience in the squad, means he has now become a key squad member.

Of the 11 players that do have experience at this level none are goalkeepers; four are defenders - Dorian Dervite, Dean Moxey, Tim Ream and David Wheater; five are midfielders - Neil Danns, Mark Davies, Liam Feeney, Pratley and Liam Trotter, who I don't think really counts; while the remaining two are ageing strikers Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey, who will turn 37 and 38 respectively during the next season.

With that list in mind, we don't have a first-team goalkeeper and we don't have an experienced striker who can realistically play 90 minutes week in, week out - not exactly the basis of a good squad at this, or any, level.

Of course underpinning these players we do have a string of young players that should become regular, important players next season. Josh Vela and Zach Clough, in his fleeting performances, proved themselves to be two of our best players last season, while Tom Walker also impressed when he came into the first-team.

The likes of Oscar Threlkeld and Quade Taylor could be expected to make the step up next season, alongside Conor Wilkinson who failed to deliver when given his opportunity last campaign. But the fact remains that we are sadly lacking in numbers and, should the dreaded injury crisis strike yet again, we will be in worlds of trouble.

Wanderers' squad is sadly lacking in both experience and leadership, making this a key issue that Neil Lennon has to address over the next couple of months.