Dean Keates set to explore Walsall loan market
Walsall’s Dean Keates looks set to utilise the loan market as the boss works to add numbers to his squad just days before the season gets underway.
The Saddlers face a race against time to bring in players before the visit of Plymouth on Saturday with a defender the number one priority.
Jon Guthrie is currently the only senior centre-back available after Kory Roberts suffered a double leg break in the friendly defeat to Stoke.
And after missing out some of his targets, Keates hinted he will now have to look to secure players on loan.
“At the moment we are a bit light but I’d like to think that will be addressed in the next 48 hours,” the manager said.
“We have got a couple of things out there. We have missed out on one or two things from last week.
“But as I’ve said, we’ve always had one or two on the back burner and we will know more this afternoon regarding those.
“I can understand fans being frustrated. As a manager of a football club you want to have your players in as soon as possible. And you want them to be contracted players.
“But if you can’t do that if you can’t get the players in that you want – often down to finances because you are getting outbid – you have to then look at the loan options.
“And you have to make sure those loan players have the right characteristics to fit into the football club.
“I believe the ones that we have gone after have got the right characteristics.”
Walsall have run the rule over a number of trialist defenders over the summer with Christian Mbulu, Adam Mitchell, Tomas Egert and Tom Brewitt having all spent time with the club.
But those players were not at the open training session held today, with Keates saying the majority have now moved on.
“There are not too many of them (trialists) hanging around anymore,” Keates added.
“We are done with the majority of them. There is a possibility with one.”