So, another transfer window has come to a close, meaning that clubs cannot buy and sell players until the summer months!
For Bolton Wanderers, however, it has been a case of making do with what they have – with the beleaguered Trotters currently under a transfer embargo, having breached Financial Fair Play regulations.
Hit with a winding-up order, as well as propping up the second-tier, it has been a nightmare season for all concerned at the Macron Stadium, but there was some relief as the Whites reached the end of the month without losing any of their best assets.
Over the last two seasons, Bolton have been able to loan players in January to salvage their campaign, though this time around, the situation is much more bleak than years gone by – Wanderers are in a very different position to what they were – unable to spend money, due to Football League restrictions.
Due to their vulnerable financial situation at the moment, Monday was a tense day for both manager Neil Lennon and the supporters, with the immediate fear that the sellable members of the playing squad would be allowed to leave at a cheap price.
Bolton’s players were always going to be easy targets come the January sales, given the crisis in the boardroom. The club remain in need of a buyer and are due back in the High Court on February 22.
Fortunately, Wanderers were able to stave off any potential suitors, in what, with regards to the current financial plight the club find themselves engulfed in, can be regarded a successful window.
The likes of Zach Clough, Josh Vela and Mark Davies had all been linked with moves away – Clough and Davies actually were the subject of accepted bids, and were on the verge of signing for Championship rivals, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively. However, both players subsequently rejected offers to move away.
Losing Clough, especially, would have been a body blow to any hope that Lennon’s men have to remain a second-tier side come what May. The 20-year-old has found the net 11 times in 21 first-team appearances since breaking through just over a year ago.
Davies, Bolton’s longest-serving player, also remained at the club, after it looked like he was certain for a move earlier in the month, while Josh Vela and Liam Feeney among the other names linked with moves away.
Whatever may happen come the conclusion of the season in May, then at least our destiny will be solved with our most influential players still playing a part for the rest of the season, and who knows beyond that – the events of this window could go some way in deciding the future of this football club.
Despite the relative success of keeping hold of the main trio who attracted interest away from BL6, the cash-strapped Greater Manchester outfit have been forced to part ways with a few fringe players.
Defender Prince-Desir Gouano had his loan contract cancelled to save funds. The Frenchman started his time at the club in a positive fashion, but suffered a major loss of form – he has decided to leave for Turkish top-flight side, Gaziantepspor.
Once again, finances brought an end to any hope of a new contract for Shola Ameobi, and the former Newcastle United veteran left alongside Jose Manuel Casado, Francesco Pisano and Medo Kamara – the latter had failed to make a single appearance under Lennon.
Arguably, one of the best things to happen during the window for Bolton actually came in the form of the returning loanee, Trotter, who since coming back from a stay with Dougie Freedman at Nottingham Forest, has hardly put a foot wrong.
The 27-year-old has come back a rejuvenated player, filling a vacant void which had been missing in the heart of the midfield. Hopefully Trotter can prove his doubters wrong, in the short-term at least.