Can Owen Coyle keep impressive Premier League momentum at Reebok Stadium?
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Bolton Wanderers have recently started to flag after an exceptionally good start to the season, and a few new signings might reignite the fire in some jaded players by providing competition for places.
Manager Owen Coyle has built a decent team at the Reebok Stadium, with an emphasis on quality football, teamwork and hard work, but some freshening up of the ranks could certainly be useful.
Here are ten options for the January transfer window to do just that.
1. Carlos Vela
Neither Bolton Wanderers nor Arsenal have made any secret of the attempted loan transfer of Carlos Vela from North London, and after Jack Wilshere enjoyed success at the Reebok Stadium last season, Arsene Wenger accepted Owen Coyle’s bid to take the young Mexican for the rest of the season.
The decision now rests in 21 year-old Vela’s hands, and his wonderful finishing ability would be a fine attribute alongside Johan Elmander or Kevin Davies’ power up front.
2. David Wheater
Middlesbrough defender David Wheater was widely coveted when playing in the Premier League under Gareth Southgate, and though his form has dipped since then, there are enough people in football with long memories to remain interested in the centre back.
Wheater is tall, strong and would be a perfect complement for Gary Cahill in the Bolton back line, but unfortunately his transfer would only lead to talk of Cahill’s sale.
3. Ivan Rakitic
FC Schalke 04 midfielder Ivan Rakitic has recently rejected the offer of a new contract from his club, and with his deal expiring in June, clubs are beginning to throw their irons into the fire.
Established South Africa international Steven Pienaar left Everton for Spurs for just £2.5m, and if Bolton can secure the services of Croatia player Rakitic for a similar amount they would do very well indeed.
He has 25 caps for his country, and the 8 goals in those appearances indicate his substantial goal threat from attacking midfield.
4. Rodrigo Moreno
Rodrigo Moreno has been on loan from Benfica in Portugal since the start of the season, but has recently started to particularly impress.
He only started his first Premier League at Chelsea on December 29th though, and scored his first goal for the club around a week later at Wigan Athletic.
Owen Coyle has been impressed with what he has seen in recent weeks, and looks set to ask Benfica how much they would want for a permanent transfer.
5. Ravel Morrison
Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison is widely thought to be the most promising young talent at the club, but the teenager’s off field problems have led to Old Trafford officials seriously considering his future.
If he is released there would be no shortage of potential suitors for the naturally gifted 17 year-old, and Bolton are reported to have already sounded out the opinion of his agent.
Should the move go through, Morrison could go either of two ways at Bolton Wanderers, but the fact that his lack of professionalism means he has possibly thrown away his chance at Man Utd will be a cause for concern for interested clubs.
6. Bradley Johnson
Leeds United star Bradley Johnson is currently transfer listed by the Elland Road club after failing to agree a new deal, and Bolton could offer the versatile player a way out.
Johnson is able to play in central midfield, left wing and at left back, and his ability to cover for lots of positions is an attractive trait to Owen Coyle.
Leeds’ lack of alternative options in the middle of the park may mean that the club elects to hold onto Johnson though, and Bolton may have to look elsewhere.ne
7. Sebastian Larsson
Birmingham’s Sebastian Larsson is available on the January market after also being unable to agree a new contract with his club, and has already failed to agree wage terms on a £2m switch to Newcastle United.
Larsson’s signing would guarantee quality delivery from the right, where he would offer something different to the pace and direct running of current option Lee Chung Yong.
8. Roberto Trashorras
29 year-old Celta Vigo playmaker Roberto Trashorras is even more dangerous from set pieces than Larsson, and the ex-Barcelona and Real Madrid youth player has settled into fine form at his current team.
He is a major reason that Celta Vigo look almost certain to reach La Liga again after a spell in the Segunda Division, but with Bolton quoted a price of £5m for the creative force they may be priced out of his signing – unless they get their best negotiators in of course.
Atletico Madrid also retain interest in the player.
9. Simon Vukcevic
A more likely bargain for the Trotters is Sporting Lisbon’s Montenegrin talent Simon Vukcevic. The 24 year-old midfield ace is fleet of mind and foot, and according to reports in Portugal is available for just £500,000.
This is exceptional value for a player who averages a goal every four appearances for the Portuguese giants, and his 31 international caps (5 for Serbia & Montenegro, 26 for Montenegro) mean he would offer experience to a young Bolton team.
10. David Jones
Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder David Jones has regularly stated his commitment to the club despite his contract running out in the summer, but with Wolves struggling near the foot of the Barclays Premier League table he has been reluctant to play his hand and gamble on further top flight football next season.
Bolton look in a sure position to offer that, and the reliable former Manchester United trainee would certainly listen to any offer Owen Coyle sent his way.
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