Allardyce Looks To France For New Faces

Last updated : 12 January 2004 By Mark Heys
Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed that he is likely to look to France as he goes in search of replacements for injured defensive trio Ricardo Gardner, Florent Laville and Simon Charlton.

Trotters boss Allardyce has a French based scout taking in one game per weekend in La Championnat and he is hopeful that his past track record of recruiting French players to the club will prove fruitful once again.

"We have a scout who watches a game every weekend in France" Allardyce told the clubs official website.

"If i'm looking for a quick fix to fill the gap left by Ricardo Gardner and Simon Charlton then France could be my best option. We have a good record of French players coming here and doing an excellent job, they seem to be ready made for the English game and have an appetite to play in England"

Current first team names such as Youri Djorkaeff, Bruno N'Gotty, Ibrahim Ba, and Florent Laville all names with international pedigree, are all examples of success stories of French recruits in the past whilst he has also been able to bring in the likes of Franck Passi, Pierre-Yves Andre and Mario Espartero in previous seasons as a short term fix for problem positions where injury and suspension have taken their toll.

Allardyce said he was hopeful of sorting out replacements for the injured three in time for the important weekend clash with Portsmouth and suggested that the next couple of days will be quite busy at the club.

"One thing is for sure, we need to get someone in before the game on Saturday against Portsmouth. Our defensive unit has been decimated with the three injuries and we have to work smart over the next few days to bolster our squad" he added.

Sunderland's out of favour defender Michael Gray has also been mentioned as a possible target on an extended loan deal. The former England international has just completed a half season loan with Scottish giants Celtic and Black Cats manager Mick McCarthy is keen to get the long serving defender off the clubs books.