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Jon Whitney: New loan rules will help Walsall

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Boss Jon Whitney will plough the loan market to help strengthen Walsall's squad next season.

The manager views new rules preventing players from being recalled by their parent clubs as a big bonus for the Saddlers.

They lost midfielder George Evans and Everton defender Matthew Pennington at key moments during the last campaign.

Under the new regulations, loan spells will run from one transfer window to the next.

And Whitney, who is facing up to a likely summer rebuild at the Banks's Stadium, intends to take full advantage.

He said: "The loans this year will be important for us. It will be a bonus, the fact they can't call them back.

"With George and Matt this year, if those two would have stayed we might have had more of a push but that can't happen next season now it is window to window.

"The ones I get in need to be part of the squad because even if it does not work for a month we still need time to play in for six months.

"We will have loan players coming in and we need to make sure those loan players fit in to the way we play football.

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"It will be interesting, I have quite a few earmarked at the moment, some really positive, energetic players."

The Saddlers are currently waiting to hear back from no fewer than 11 players who were offered new contracts at the end of the season, among them Romaine Sawyers, Sam Mantom and Milan Lalkovic.

Whitney anticipates having a squad of around 18 or 19 players next term and believes that will be an attraction to any loan players he looks to attract.

But he admits a return for Pennington, who impressed during a brief loan stay in April, looks unlikely after the 21-year-old centre-back broke through into Everton's first-team.

Whitney continued: "I would love to take him back but now he has broken in (at Everton) it is difficult. If I was his agent, I would be looking for him to go into the Championship, realistically.

"The attraction again is I will have a small squad and they (loan players) will play games."

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