Talks start over Walsall's loan stars

Boss Jon Whitney is preparing for a busy January as Walsall bid to extend the loans of some of their key players.

Loan: Roberts
Loan: Roberts

Tyler Roberts, Zeli Ismail, Daniel Agyei and Shaun Donnellan all see their temporary switches to the Banks’s Stadium end at the beginning of 2018.

Roberts and Agyei have chipped in with important goals following their moves from Albion and Burnley respectively with both strikers currently on five for the campaign.

Meanwhile, Ismail – who is on loan from Bury – has become an integral part of the side over the past few weeks following a string of impressive displays.

Centre-back Donnellan has also made 11 appearances for the Saddlers, although he has recently found his options limited due to the form of youngster Kory Roberts.

“Talks have started regarding the loan players,” Whitney said. “I had a good chat with (Bury manager) Chris Lucketti after the Bury game. But it’s just words at the moment.

“And of course I have spoken to several people regarding the players we have currently got. But I’ve also spoken to other players in case a Plan B is needed.

“That is what you have got to do. You have to start early with recruitment. The agents started calling about three weeks ago. I understand they need to earn a living.

“These things rarely go smoothly and get done on the first day. Deals will probably get done at the last minute.

“But that is what we are here for – that is part of the enjoyment.”

Walsall also have James Wilson on loan from Sheffield United, however his deal expires at the end of the season.

And Whitney admitted if he had his way the January window would be scrapped with teams sticking with their squads throughout the campaign.

“This window can be a difficult time,” he continued.

“Would I say it is a good thing? Probably not. I’d prefer it if what you had at the start of the season is what you have for the remainder.

“But that’s not on my say so. We are ready for January though. It will be an interesting month.”

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