Following an accepted bid understood to be around the £300,000 mark, it is now widely believed Craig Davies will now complete his move from basement club Barnsley to Bolton Wanderers to become Freedman’s first permanent signing.
Whilst the acquisition of a striker who has scored already scored nine goals this season (two more than top scorer Eagles) in a struggling side is definitely a welcome one, the focus now surely has to be defence, as Nicky Crompton reported a few days ago, with targets of Craig Dawson from West Bromwich Albion and Jonatan Tollas from Aalesund in Norway.
The defence of Wanderers has without doubt been a major cause for concern this season, conceding 40 goals in the first 26 games, only 8 other teams have conceded more, 3 of which occupy the bottom three places. It’s a far cry from being tipped by many as early contenders for the league title, Bolton are now closer to the relegation zone than the playoff places.
Many feel there has been sporadic encouragement in the combinations of the back four and goalkeeper sporadically throughout the course of the season, but the lack of consistency has left Bolton with the unenviable statistic of failing to pick up back to back wins, which is simply not good enough for the second highest wage bill in the league is it?
The return of Wheater is expected fairly soon and is undoubtedly good news, there are even reports he may feature in today’s development squad fixture alongside other long term absentees Josh Vela and Stuart Holden. I hope to reveal more on the returns of Stuart Holden and Josh Vela tomorrow, in hope of attending the game, so will leave that one there for now. Nothing more needs to be said on the potential importance a fully fit Stuart Holden could have on the team on his own. Baby steps for now though.
Still, even with the return of Wheater, Bolton are still quite short on numbers for defenders, with injuries to Matt Mills, who some doubt to be of the calibre we need, and the recent unfortunate injury to Joe Riley we are still to learn the extent of.
This combined with the unlikely return of Stephen Warnock due to reported contract demands and interest from other clubs without doubt needs support. As it stands, the only senior defenders fully fit are the ones are Tim Ream, Sam Ricketts, Zat Knight, Tyrone Mears and Marcos Alonso. Any injuries if not already will cause major problems.
So, to the defensive targets already pointed out. Jonatan Tollas is unknown to many people in Britain, but according to statistics he has played 118 games for Aalesund in Norway, including 101 league appearances. The other 17 cup appearances have resulted in Tollas helping Aalesund to the Norwegian Cup in 2009 and 2011, playing the full 90 minutes in both finals. The club finished 11th out of 16th last year.
There is an interesting development as of today which I can exclusively report is that Tollas no longer has a profile on the clubs official website: http://www.aafk.no/team1players (this may involve translating the page to English through google). This only fuels rumours Tollas is to complete a move away from the club, with the most likely destination Bolton.
Secondly Craig Dawson is possibly the most well known name Bolton have been linked with so far. There has been criticism amongst media and from the terraces the team has lacked passion and fight for the badge at times, Craig Dawson is certainly the type of player who gives his all.
He’s from the North West, down the road in Rochdale and started his career down the road at Radcliffe Borough before moving to Rochdale and then West Bromwich Albion. The defender is struggling for games at the Hawthorns and is reported to be interested in a move. As a quick fact Craig Dawson scored for Great Britain in the penalty shoot out at the Olympics, so to be associated with Team GB it is hoped the player has that something (which we also hope Marvin Sordell can produce eh?).
Jan Gregus is seen as one for the future by Freedman as he hopes to complete a deal for the midfielder later this week.
Are these players associated the kind of players who can turn round our season with the return of our long term absentees? Who would you like to see at the club, in a realistic target for Bolton?