Bolton Wanderers; Transfer Window January 2008 - Week 1


Stephen Orford

Due to the mild irritation of his disability Stephen Orford has never kicked a football in his life. However, he is a serious asset to any editor looking to comply with equal opportunities legislation....
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1/7/2008 8:30:00 AM.
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Bolton’s biggest task this January will be that of trying to hold on to Nicolas Anelka. The much travelled striker is being lined up by Chelsea according to just about everyone, with Tuesday’s Independent (January 1) suggesting it’ll be Anelka or Reading’s Kevin Doyle heading for the Bridge any day now.

All of which will do little to excite Bolton manager Gary Megson, who is quoted in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph as saying that the transfer window is ‘rubbish’. And well he might. If someone was allowed to come into your house for one month of every year and virtually steal your prized assets one assumes you would be less than thrilled.

Gary Speed’s much talked about move to Sheffield United to regain first team football officially goes through on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s Daily Star (January 2) suggests that Roman will pay a combined £35million for Anelka and Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov. It is not until Thursday (January 3) that several reputable (and some not so reputable) publications reveal that only £10million of that will be coming Bolton‘s way for Anelka. No wonder Megson hates windows more than your average bee.

So who could replace Anelka if the seemingly inevitable happens? The Daily Telegraph think it might be Santiago Ezquerro. Who? Ezquerro is a Barcelona striker who is apparently unsettled at the Nou Camp. Unsurprising since he is the only one of Barca’s stunning array of attacking players that nobody seems to have heard of. It must be hard to get first team football ahead of the likes of Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o when you are as anonymous as a presenter on QVC. Not so much if your main strike rivals are Kevin Davies and Ricardo Vaz Te.

If not Ezquerro then how about Rob Hulse? The injury-prone Sheffield United forward could be on his way to the Reebok Stadium according to the Times, although the paper warns that Megson faces competition from Middlesbrough for Hulse’s signature. It’s more than about time that somebody faced competition from Middlesbrough for something, don’t you agree?

From the file marked Any Other Business, 19-year old winger Leslie Thompson is allowed to go out on a month long loan to Blue Square Premier side Torquay United.

And so to Friday’s Sun (January 4), in which it is reported that Portsmouth ‘utility player’ Matt Taylor is Bolton-bound. Taylor ran his very own goal of the season competition last term, but has found opportunities hard to come by since the arrival of Herman Hreidarsson last summer. Taylor may be joined at the Reebok Stadium by Megson’s former West Bromwich Albion charges Paul Robinson and Zoltan Gera, that is if the Daily Mirror is to be believed. The paper also claims that Celtic’s veteran defender Bobo Balde is on the Megson wish-list.

Saturday’s Sun (January 5) offers Trotters fans a more enticing prospect to replace Anelka than the previous efforts from the DT. According to the Currant, former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is the man to fill the Anelka-sized hole about to be made in the Wanderers attack. He’s not exactly been first choice during his time at Marseille, but if he does sign for Bolton expect local barbers to do a roaring trade on silly haircuts and elaborate facial hair patterns.

Over at the Daily Star they are concentrating on the future of Stelios Giannakopolous. The Greek winger is not following Speed to Sheffield United according to Megson. What? Not even in a swap deal for Hulse? No. Megson insists, in fact. Which usually means it is not happening yet, but that it will eventually.

The Daily Express drop a bomb on Megson’s plans to sign Taylor from Fratton Park, suggesting that Rangers are throwing their hat into the ring. Regular Champions League football will be a tempting prospect for the Pompey man, but annual visits to St.Mirren may not.

By Stephen Orford
5 January 2008

Premier League Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 1 Round-up

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