Joey Barton has updated Bristol Rovers fans after Brandon Hanlan’s move to Wycombe Wanderers and the possibility of replacing the striker.
Bristol Rovers have a problem with attacking options which has only been added to after Hanlan’s recent departure for a fee around £150,000 plus add-ons and a sell-on clause. The move had been coming for some time with persistent interest for the striker but Rovers haven’t yet made a move for a new signing up top.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Barrow, Barton lacks options up front as he only has Aaron Collins and Harvey Saunders ready to start with Brett Pitman missing out due to an ankle injury.
Discussing Hanlan’s departure, the Bristol Rovers boss told BristolLive: “I think the fact he had the expiration date on his contract ticking away in the background, and we took him on a compensation [deal] which we had to pay in the summer, and within a short period he’s going to be a free transfer and be available to go, it was not an ideal situation.
“We’re already short of strikers and Bran going has left us a bit short in that department, so there is work to do, but the financial package for the club has been accepted.
“That goes outside my pay grade and is handed over further up the hierarchy. They feel it’s a good deal for the club, and I can’t disagree with that.
“We’re gutted to see him go, but we understand it, and wish him every success in the future.”
A new striker is a top priority for Rovers who only have until 11pm on Tuesday to get someone in.
However, when discussing the prospect of this happening, Barton gave his verdict which didn’t sound hopeful as he said: “It’s going to be really, really tough. The marketplace is scarce at the minute.”
Following Hanlan’s departure, Rovers need to act sooner rather than later in ensuring they can get someone in to help the team going forward. The side have only scored three goals so far this season and if no one comes in, they could be thin on the ground throughout the season.
The only saving grace for Rovers is that they currently have thirty six year old Leon Clarke training with them and as he is a free agent, they would be able to sign him after the deadline of Tuesday night.
However, Barton should be working hard to try and get a fresh replacement for Hanlan in because if they wait until January, it could be a long few months for Bristol Rovers before then.