Big Sam eyes January arrivals
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bolton manager Sam Allardyce is looking to bring in a couple of players in the New Year.Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce is looking to bring in a couple of players to offset the loss of his African stars come the New Year.
With the likes of El-Hadji Diouf, Radhi Jaidi, Jay-Jay Okocha, Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye and Khalilou Fadiga set to feature in next month's African Cup of Nations, Allardyce's squad will be trimmed significantly.
Bolton were in for Roy Keane, but with the former Manchester United star opting for a move to Celtic this week, The Trotters have been forced elsewhere.
Allardyce will primarily look at loan deals as the Reebok boss does not believe buying in January is the ideal time to get out the chequebook.
"In the transfer window there are not many players of Keane's calibre around. Of course if there is, it's how much and do they want to come to your club?" Allardyce told Sky Sports News.
"That for us means life's going to be much more difficult to find a player of that sort of quality in January but we'll keep looking and searching and hopefully in the end get what we're looking for.
"A short-term signing is crucial first because of the African Cup of Nations. We're going to be missing five players for that.
"They'll be away for a number of weeks, but I don't think all of them will be away for the full duration of course as only two sides can get to the final. One or two might be back sooner rather than later as they'll get knocked out of the competition.
"We have to deal with it. They could miss a total of eight matches if we stay in all competitions. It's a very dangerous time for us that could decimate and ruin what's been a great season up till now.
"I really do want to guard against that scenario and make sure it doesn't happen by bringing in one or two players to cover that loss."Meanwhile, Oman international Ali Al-Habsi has begun training with Bolton ahead of joining the club on January 1 from Norwegian outfit Lyn.