Adam Le Fondre
Bit of a shame this one as it is nice to see a player as good as Adam le Fondre reaching out to us and us being powerless to do anything. Time does seems to be on our side with this one as he has sounded out a return to his native North West as his only destination so his link with Wolves and a return to Reading both seem to have faded.
There will be other options available to the Stockport-born forward as Blackburn Rovers may be tempted into cashing in on Jordan Rhodes as Middlesbrough throw streams of cash at their own promotion bid. Wigan Athletic also is a realistic option with the minnows still benefiting from the parachute payments from their previous relegation from the Premier League. Burnley for me would be the likely destination for Le Fondre with Danny Ings moving to Liverpool.
So how can we make this happen?
Assuming we want ALF, we need to sell to buy or loan and our options in this leave us in trouble, our valuable players are crucial to us and personally I would not trade in the likes of Vela, Clough and Mark Davies for Le Fondre which leaves us with two realistic options.
- Tim Ream: Calm down, as much as some of you rate him I doubt any of you would like to see him play centre-half again and a full-back is the most easily replaced position on the pitch. There is no reason to have a 'quality' full-back if you are weak in other areas of the pitch - it is the least important position on the pitch. Cash in if there is a suitable offer.
- Jay Spearing: I like Spearing but he just cannot pass and there is no place in a Neil Lennon team if you are weak in that department. I genuinely think Spearing would be better in the Premier League anyway where he could be relied upon more for sides who spend less time in possession.
Seems to have been largely successful and it has been nice to see players like Liam Feeney really step up. Zach Clough has been handed the number 10 role and seems to continue to be unfazed with the added responsibility so that is reassuring. Ben Amos has looked good, particularly against Sturm Graz and Ross Fitzsimmons seems a very competent number two goalkeeper.
For our new signings, I do like the look of Gary Madine, he has a good size, great physique and seems comfortable in possession with the Bolton midfield happy to put the ball into the big man's feet, an encouraging start for the former Sheffield Wednesday striker. Derik Osede also looks quite tidy and I look forward to seeing more of the Real Madrid academy graduate.
On trial we have seen some come and go with Wilson Palacios unfortunately not making the cut but Stephen Dobbie and Lawrie Wilson both have continued to impress with their respective trial periods. There's no rush to make any decisions yet but I would probably expect both to get one-year deals.
One person who remains in limbo is Emile Heskey as the big man continues to hope for a renewed deal at Bolton. Heskey's future at the Marcon Stadium looks more unsecure with each passing day as the contract which appeared all-but signed at the back on of last season seems to have not come to fruition for the former England Striker. I was a fan of Heskey and felt he did very well for Bolton and I am sure his experiance would be missed in any dressing room but I just do not see the point in doing it now we have Gary Madine and I would have thought Neil Lennon is of the same mindset. It may still happen but I think it would have happened by now.
The final game of pre-season sees us now play a Championship Rival following a cancellation and I have to say I'm not sure why this isn't done more, what better way to see the product of your preparation than pitching yourself against someone of the same quality.
What a transformation for the former Swansea midfielder as he has turned the Wanderers faithful around with his high-energy performances and for the cause team ethic. He was no shoe-in for the role and I imagine Dorian Dervite, Tim Ream and perhaps even David Wheater may be a little dissapointed but I personally feel it is the right choice and would not be surprised if the captaincy role was floated out during the long contract negotiations.