Bolton Wanderers; January Transfer Window 2008 - Last Knockings

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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]
06/02/2008 11:00:00.
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It’s the fag end of the January window for this year, and isn’t Bolton boss Gary Megson glad about it. Once describing the transfer window concept as ‘rubbish’, the former West Bromwich Albion boss has already had to endure the loss of Nicolas Anelka to fat-wallet Chelsea.

So what’s he doing with the money in the final days? Well if the News Of The World are to be believed (January 27) he is still trying to raise money rather than spend it. Ollie Kahn will be shaking in his boots at the prospect, but the NOTW remain unmoved in their assertion that Trotters’ back-up stopper Ali Al Habsi is Bavaria-bound.

The Sunday People still has Megson chasing around after Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha, but reveals that ambitious, tight-as-a-nat’s-chuff Aston Villa are also interested.

By Monday (January 28), most of those in the know and even some completely clueless rags are predicting that Villa will sell Gary Cahill to Bolton for around £4-5million, thus nudging a clear path to the services of Onuoha. A cunning plan, Mr O’Neill, but what’s in it for City?

The Daily Mirror are sick of pussy-footing around with such mundane rumours, and decide to spice things up a touch. Apparently, former Wanderers hero Eidur Gudjohnsen wants a return to the Reebok, no doubt yearning for a return to The Reebok after collecting rather too many splinters at the Nou Camp. The rumour is quashed by Eidur’s father, who it seems has persuaded his lad to refrain from making any rash decisions and to have another think about things in the summer. Not that the weather will be any less fresh in Lancashire around then.

So dead against the arrival of an unheralded defender are The Mirror that on Wednesday (January 30) they boldly announce that Cahill is joining Birmingham City instead. Meanwhile, the same paper reports that Megson will spend less than half the intended fee for Cahill on Real Betis defender Marko Babic. The aforementioned is Croatian, and as any self-respecting tabloid sports editor knows any Croatian can make it in the Premier League following Slaven Bilic’s side’s victory at Wembley in November.

Frankly, it’s all poppy-cock as later that day Cahill joins the Reebok Stadium outfit for an undisclosed fee believed to be ’reet steep’.

And so to Thursday (January 31). Deadline day. First a move that no scoop-sniffing scribe seems to have predicted, as Slovakian defender Lubo Michalik steps down two divisions to join Leeds United. The fee is again a secret, but some grass is reporting that it is in the region of £500,000.

Following Michalik out of the exit door is Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson. The 28-year-old is initially on loan to Spanish outfit Deportivo La Coruna, but it is unlikely that Megson will be meeting him at the station for an emotional return in the summer. Having failed to start a Premier League game since his arrival in England, Wilhelmsson appears to have cut his losses.

Anelka is really quite irreplaceable for a club like Bolton. Brooding, club-hopping goal machines are not exactly ten-a-penny, and you usually have to spend stupid amounts of cash for that kind of talent. That realisation is brought home in less than subtle fashion as former Derby County and Tottenham clogger Grzegorz Rasiak joins the Megson revolution on loan until the summer.

Just as a footnote, Martin O’Neill didn’t get Onuoha, but he did get a gubbing at Fulham.

By Stephen Orford

5 February 2008


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