Bolton Wanderers; Transfer Window January 2008 - Week 3

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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....
[full biography]
1/22/2008 9:00:00 AM.
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Bolton Wanderers are far too busy losing 2-1 at home to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday (January 13) to be bothered by transfer tittle-tattle. Good thing then that the press ignore them completely in terms of malicious rumour and gossip. Perhaps they are being afforded that period of respect that one politely offers to the recently bereaved, what with it being only two days since St.Nic headed south.

The Times wait until Monday (January 14) to begin making mischief, starting with a very Tall story indeed. Hearts defender Ibrahim Tall is, they say, the subject of interest from Bolton boss Gary Megson. The Senegal international is tipped by The Times to come in and strengthen the Trotters defence, which anybody who saw Christopher Samba’s headed goal for Rovers on Sunday would no doubt recommend.

Aswell as or perhaps even instead of Tall, the Daily Mirror report that Megson will spend £4million on AZ Alkmaar’s Icelandic defender Gretar Steinsson. But hang on a minute, isn’t a striker a little bit more of a priority now that Le Sulk is pulling his face elsewhere? Well yes, but Bolton are apparently ’priced out’ of buying Swedish front man Johan Elmander from Toulouse. Perhaps not all of that £15million Anelka fee will be going straight back into the team after all?

Somewhat late, the Mirror also trots out the familiar tale of Matt Taylor’s excruciating choice between staying on the Portsmouth bench alongside Harry, or joining Bolton or Sunderland.

Fast forward to Wednesday (January 16) and at last some sensible talk about a striker, even if Blackburn Rovers striker Jason Roberts cannot be compared to Nicolas Anelka any more than Pete Doherty can be compared to a real singer. It might have something to do with his impressive and very late winning goal for Rovers against Bolton just days ago, but the Daily Mirror reckon there is mileage in the rumour that Megson is interested in the former West Bromwich Albion man. So are Sunderland, apparently.

The Daily Mail very kindly drops the price for Steinsson from £4million to £3million. Nice of them, that. Wonder if they have told Louis? In the event the Trotters pay £3.5million for the defender, who joins on a three-and-a-half-year deal;

“I'm just glad because I've been waiting a long time to come here. I was really frustrated when I didn't get a contract five-and-a-half years ago.” reveals Steinsson, showing Anelka a thing or two about being happy to play at The Reebok.

Despite this new arrival Thursday’s Daily Mirror (January 17) is sticking by its defender theory, suggesting that Aston Villa’s Olof Mellberg could be the man. All of which becomes even less likely after the versatile Matt Taylor joins from Portsmouth for another of those fees routinely described as undisclosed;

“I wanted to keep him but he wants to play.” moans Harry;

“He's a proven Premier League performer who brings quality to our squad.” counters Megson.

By Stephen Orford

19 January 2008


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