It's one of my favourite times of the footballing year: transfer season. It is a huge summer for Bolton Wanderers in terms of recruitment. We have a large quantity of players leaving including big earners and we are going up to a more difficult league. Quality recruitment can make or break a club so it's important this is done right. Below is a list of players who are genuinely good enough for the league without falling in to the pitfall or purely signing big name players and contracts they aren't worth.
I will point out the last time I did a 'Players we should sign' bit - here http://lionofviennasuite.sbnation.com/2016/12/1/13764990/the-non-league-gems-we-could-sign
6 of the 8 I mentioned have since made Football League moves, 3 of those to the Championship and one is widely mooted to this summer (give me a job Anderson).
I've focused on positions that we need reinforcements in, specifically the wings, right back and some goals in midfield. A worrying find is the lack of goalscorers and decent strikers available; even more reason to secure ALF and get in to the loan market early.
1 - Sammy Ameobi
Lets get the obvious one out of the way shall we? It was widely reported during Sammy’s stay with us that he was out of contract at the end of the year and that Newcastle United were unlikely to extend. Nothing has changed, so lets go get him. He added pace and with to a Wanderers team that hadn't really seen that since the Owen Coyle years as well as goal's to boot. He was brilliant in the first half of the season and was influential in changing the pace of the team with his driving runs. Many pointed to the departure of Zach Clough as the reason for Wanderers dip in form but a keen eye will spot that the dip coincided with the loss of Ameobi a month before. There are legitimate questions as to whether he can cut it the league above as a starter but he has undoubtedly earned his chance and is the type of player every team needs on the bench regardless. I imagine given his relatively big name his wage will be higher than a lot on this list, but not to the extent to put us off. Should we sign him-o-meter - 7/10
2 - Jordan Spence
The first right back of the list and it’s a tight call for the best. Jordan Spence is currently at Ipswich Town having previously played for MK Dons and West Ham. He signed for Ipswich in January on a short term deal and was in the team pretty much every game, impressing in his time. He is a right back with the added physical benefit of being 6ft 2; something a team as reliant on set pieces as we are shouldn't simply dismiss. Despite his height he is agile and relatively pacey for a defender. Another point we cannot afford to overlook is his versatility, having played right back, centre back and most importantly for us right wing-back this season. He's a former England Under 21 international, he knows the league and he is very much attainable. Should we sign him-o-meter - 8/10
3- Fred Onyedinma
Some of you might not be as familiar with this chap so I'll go over the basics. He is a 20 year old midfielder who has spent his entire career at Millwall to date. He plays on the right of midfield but has been known to play all across the attacking three positions and as a striker. He's rapid, 6ft 1 (tall for a winger) and got an eye for a goal. Onyedinma is by no means an unknown however, several clubs including teams from the Premier League are looking at him. Most recently it was QPR who were reportedly leading the chase for his signature. Whilst we cannot match them on a monetary level we can offer the promise of a system that relies on wingers (assuming PP goes back to 4231) and the real chance of having first team football in the Championship. He is exactly the type of player we should be trying to sign and competing with other clubs for. Young, potential to play at a higher level, massive profit potential, relatively low wages and no ego or baggage. Would be very happy if we signed this bargain, versatile potential gem. Should we sign him-o-meter - 8/10
4 - Conor McLaughlin
Our second right back of the list. He played for our main 2nd place promotion rivals, Fleetwood Town this season and impressed throughout. He shone to such an extent that he made the English Football League - Team of the Year. To clarify, that's not just league 1, that's encompassing the whole Football League. His performances have been outstanding this year and will no doubt be a wanted man if he doesn't sign the contract that has been on the table since Christmas. He's a Northern Ireland international and started his career at Preston. He's tall standing at 6ft and gets a decent amount of goals at right back with 5 last year. He's 25, relatively low wages and proven quality. Should we sign him-o-meter - 8/10
5 - Graham Carey
It seems every time I do a list of this sort I put Graham Carey on it so for the love of god; Ken/Lee/Phil - sign him so I can shut up about him. Where to start with the Plymouth Argyle man? Well he plays centre attacking midfield but is well know to play on the left of midfield as well. He has a decent turn of pace, can deliver great set pieces and oh yeah got 14 GOALS AND 16 ASSISTS THIS YEAR (from midfield). Granted it's League 2 but there's not a question in my mind that he is good enough for The Championship. As I mentioned he can hit a good set piece - a quality we should see in far more of our team. He runs directly at defenders, has a good long throw which is underrated but important, his crossing was described as unbelievable by one manager and he has played at left wing-back before in his career. Do I really need to say any more to sell him to you? His wages will be cheap, absolute no brainer. Should we sign him-o-meter - 10/10
Which player would you most want us to sign?
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