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3 out-of contract players Bolton Wanderers should target this summer to enhance their squad

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League One outfit Bolton Wanderers can be pleased with their work this season despite not managing to force their way into the play-offs this season.

They may have been expected to do better than many other recently-promoted sides under the stewardship of Ian Evatt – but a ninth-place finish is certainly not to be sniffed at considering the strength of teams in the third tier this term, with the likes of Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday investing heavily.

The Trotters managed to finish above the Tractor Boys and Portsmouth, an impressive achievement and it has given them a platform to build on for the coming months and years as they look to continue working towards the top two tiers.

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There will be causalities despite their promising season though, with Evatt recently revealing that he won’t be afraid to be ruthless when he needs to, potentially a warning sign for those who currently find themselves on the fringes of the first team.

Xavier Amaechi, Marlon Fossey and James Trafford are all set to return to their respective parent clubs if they haven’t done so already and with eight players departing this summer on the expiration of their deals, they will need others to come in.

They won’t have to spend a huge amount of money to recruit top-quality players though and with this in mind, we have selected three out-of-contract players Bolton should target this summer to strengthen their squad.

Adam Davies

Soccer Football – Championship – Sheffield United v Stoke City – Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain – October 16, 2021 Stoke City’s Adam Davies Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Some would argue this may be a bit too much of an ambitious move – but he has found his playing time limited at both Stoke City and Sheffield United this term – with the Welshman currently plying his trade with the latter.

Officials at Bramall Lane may extend his contract if they remain in the Championship next season with the shot-stopper proving to be a reliable option in this division – but they have been linked with Gavin Bazunu in recent months and if those links are true – it would be hard to see him remaining in South Yorkshire.

Having Jake Eastwood available as a third-choice option, there would be no point in keeping Davies who may want to prioritise his game time above anything else at this stage after spending much of this campaign watching his teams in action from the bench.

This is why he may take the drop down if he doesn’t receive assurances regarding his game time from clubs in a higher division – and with Trafford returning to Manchester City – Bolton should be at the front of the queue to recruit the 29-year-old who performed well for Stoke when he was in action earlier this term.

Richard Stearman

Soccer Football – Championship – Derby County v Reading – Pride Park, Derby, Britain – September 29, 2021 Reading’s George Puscas in action with Derby County’s Richard Stearman Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY

34-year-old Stearman has said he wants to remain at current side Derby County beyond the end of the campaign – but it’s currently unclear whether Wayne Rooney has the centre-back in his first-team plans or not.

At this stage, the defender can’t be offered a new deal in the East Midlands because their takeover is yet to go through and that could put Evatt’s men in a strong position to recruit him as they look to fill an Alex Baptiste-sized void at the heart of their defence.

With the third-tier side sometimes operating with three at the back, he may get more game time than he will get at Pride Park next term with Curtis Davies and Eiran Cashin currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

Even if they can only get 12 months out of Stearman, his experience could be crucial in elevating Wanderers into the promotion mix and considering he has only made 12 league appearances for Derby this season, he isn’t likely to demand to start every game.

And unlikely to be on a huge salary because of the embargo restrictions the Rams were under when they signed him last year, it should be relatively easy to meet his demands.

Kane Wilson

Soccer Football – League Two – Forest Green Rovers v Swindon Town – The New Lawn Stadium, Nailsworth, Britain – October 9, 2021 Forest Green Rovers’ Kane Wilson in action with Swindon Town’s Ellis Iandolo Action Images/Matthew Childs EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Right-sided player Wilson has been integral to Forest Green Rovers’ success this term, recording three goals and 14 assists in 44 league games this term, an exceptional record going forward.

Finishing just three places adrift of the play-offs this term, his goalscoring contributions could be key in taking Wanderers from their current position into the promotion mix and at 22, he is only likely to get better.

Able to operate effectively as both a full-back and wing-back, he would be a crucial asset to Evatt’s side and certainly a decent replacement for Fossey whose future is currently unclear at this stage as he heads back to Fulham.

They may face a tough battle for his services though with second-tier side Nottingham Forest also thought to be interested in his signature at this stage, though they may not be able to guarantee him regular pitch minutes, potentially putting Bolton in the driving seat to secure his services.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 out-of contract players Bolton Wanderers should target this summer to enhance their squad

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