Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
John McDougall

Potential areas Bolton Wanderers could reinforce this summer as Ian Evatt drops transfer hint

Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt has hinted there still could be transfer incomings this summer at Bolton Wanderers.

Wanderers have brought in four players this summer with Jack Iredale and Eoin Toal arriving on permanent deals. Conor Bradley and James Trafford meanwhile have joined on loan for the campaign.

The summer transfer window closes in three weeks time on September 1 at 11pm. Wanderers have adopted a quality over quantity approach in terms of incomings this summer and Toal, the most recent arrival, had his deal from Derry City confirmed on July 20.

READ MORE: Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt on Port Vale 'fear factor', team selection & transfer window latest

With only a few weeks to go now until the deadline slams shut, Evatt has confirmed that Wanderers are still looking to improve where they can and that ins and outs could still be a possibility this summer. Though the Bolton boss is happy with his squad and its composition, it suggests there could still be acquisitions made.

So where could Evatt strengthen his squad this summer and which departments are the most likely candidates for any prospective reinforcements? In answer to that question, we've analysed the Wanderers squad area by area to look at which parts appear the more likely for additions, if any do arrive.


Wanderers have Manchester City loanee and Joel Dixon as a strong line-up in the goalkeeping department. Promising youngster Luke Hutchinson is also set to be a regular for the B team this season and would be a candidate to step up to the first team in time.

Evatt is well known for not always naming a goalkeeper on the bench in his matchday squads. Unless an injury is picked up by Trafford and/or Dixon, the goalkeeping department is not screaming out for further incomings.

Central defenders

Wanderers have strengthened this aspect of the squad this summer, bringing in Toal and Iredale to the squad. It was an area which needed a gap or two filling after the departure of Alex Baptiste.

The Whites already had skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos, Gethin Jones, Will Aimson and George Johnston in that area of the squad going into the summer. Wanderers look well stacked in this area and is one of several areas where Evatt is spoilt for choice, thus making this not a priority for more incomings.


Bradley arriving on loan from Liverpool filled the void on the right hand side of the pitch left when Wanderers ended their pursuit of trying to bring Marlon Fossey back following a successful loan spell from Fulham. On that flank, Jones can also operate there and so can Kieran Sadlier, while the soon to return Lloyd Isgrove is also an option.

On the left, Evatt already had Declan John to call upon, but the versatile Iredale has also proved he can play there, while Johnston has also been deployed there on occasion. Max Conway in the B team is also highly thought of and would play in that role.

Like the previous two areas, the wing-back department certainly has several options and on the face of it, does not look like a priority for improvement.

Central midfielders

Wanderers are blessed with several options in this area of the pitch. MJ Williams, George Thomason, Aaron Morley, Kieran Lee and Kyle Dempsey are all options Evatt can call upon.

Soon to return to the fold will be Josh Sheehan who is closing in on a return from a ruptured ACL. He will add to the pool of creativity and talent Evatt can select in the middle of the park.

However, one area of central midfield arguably could be improved upon in terms of options. Following the move by Andrew Tutte to move to a player-coaching role for Bolton's B team, there does not appear to be a like for like replacement in the holding midfield area of the squad to provide an alternative to Williams if he is not available.

There are few areas where potential reinforcements are needed in Bolton's squad, but a defensive minded midfielder in the Williams mould jumps out as one of them.

Number 10

Wanderers have several players who can operate in this area of the pitch when they play a dedicated number 10. Evatt believes Lee is the best in that position at the club.

Dapo Afolayan can also play in that area in a position which he is still learning about how to play. Sadlier and Elias Kachunga are also options in this part of the pitch which looks well stacked for players on the face of it.

Centre forwards

Wanderers boosted their options in this area of the squad in January and have firepower in depth at the top end of the pitch. Dion Charles and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson arrived and have been big successes.

It compliments the likes of Afolayan, Amadou Bakayoko and Kachunga who were there already. The competition upfront is fierce in this department.

A hypothetical scenario where Wanderers would theoretically need to strengthen this area is if interest from elsewhere in the likes of Afolayan, who has two years left on his contract, materialises into a bid which Wanderers deem to be acceptable. His departure would mean the top scorer from last season no longer being here at the club and surely reinforcements would be required if that were to happen.

For now though, the squad at Wanderers is looking healthy with no overwhelming areas of concern for reinforcements as Evatt manages the strongest set of players he has had at the club since arriving in 2020.

Don't miss a thing from the club you love! For all the latest updates on Wanderers , sign up to our free newsletter packed with all the latest news here.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.