Express & Star

Walsall co-chairman reveals transfer strategy to fans

Walsall co-chairman Ben Boycott has told supporters that the Saddlers are taking a patient approach to the transfer window.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Charlie Lakin and Connor Barrett have both checked in at the Bescot, while Evan Weir will link up with his new team-mates for the first time since agreeing to join back in December.

A contract offer remains on the table for goalkeeper Jackson Smith, whose deal expires on Sunday night.

Player-of-the-season Isaac Hutchinson departed earlier this week to sign for League One outfit Bristol Rovers, while Tom Knowles, Owen Evans, Joe Riley, Rollin Menayese and Aramide Oteh all left at the end of their contracts.

Speaking at a fans' forum, Boycott said the club are determined to sign the right players this summer, while also quashing rumours of a 15 per cent budget cut.

New chief executive Ben Sadler also confirmed the club are working to bring forwards in, while Boycott said Walsall will use the loan market again – though he stressed he was keen to rely on contracted players.

The Saddlers have lost strikers Danny Johnson and Freddie Draper to loan recalls in each of the last two seasons, and subsequently struggled to reproduce their goal output in attack.

Meanwhile, co-chairman Leigh Pomlett confirmed the sale of former Walsall striker Elijah Adebayo "would be a good deal for the club" after agreeing a sell-on fee with Luton Town.

Adebayo impressed in his first season in the Premier League, netting 10 goals – including a hat-trick against Brighton & Hove Albion in January.

Among several matters discussed at the forum, it was revealed season ticket sales had gone well. Though numbers are slightly down on last year, the value of those tickets was up.

And the Saddlers are also expected to get a taste of Thursday night football this season in the wake of the new Sky TV deal.

Walsall will be shown on television more than 20 times, with some of those coming on Thursdays – though Pomlett stressed this would only be occasional and that he is very pleased with the new deal.