Bristol Rovers are on the search for new players as Joey Barton looks to bolster his squad to help his ambitions of gaining a second consecutive promotion.
'Dying embers' is a phrase that Barton loves to use, and that could be the case for today. No new names have popped up over the last week and so any player now could be someone that the Gas fans have not heard of before. The loan market is where Rovers have found value for money, with the relatively unknown Elliot Anderson joining on a season-long loan, and the rest was history.
Three new faces have arrived this month and all made their debuts in the 5-1 thrashing to Morecambe on the weekend. Ellery Balcombe replaced James Belshaw in between the sticks, meanwhile Jarell Quansah made his first start in professional football and Grant Ward made his first appearance in 11 weeks. Barton has spoken of an emphasis on recruiting young players and is willing to sign more loan players, despite there being a limit of five in a match-day squad.
In his post-match analysis, he did not rule more players departing the Memorial Stadium, with any departure now coming as a shock. It is surprising that Aaron Collins, who is one of the leading players in the division, has not had any speculation this month, but that is music to their ears, as losing him would be a massive blow.
Keep up to date with our transfer live blog, as we keep an eye on Bristol Rovers and their League One rivals, in what promises to be another busy day.
Bristol Rovers transfer deadline day LIVE: Joey Barton keen on new faces
- Aston Villa loan Lamare Bogarde to Bristol Rovers
- Calum MacDonald joins from Stockport on short-term deal
- Bristol Rovers finish with five signings in the January transfer window
New signing comments on debut
Grant Ward joined on a free transfer from Blackpool on Friday, and was included in the 18-man squad against Morecambe. Ward didn’t start but was on the pitch when Aaron Collins at least pulled a consolation goal back.
There’s a match going on this morning for Bristol Rovers, their Under-19’s team are playing against Oxford United.
Rovers could miss out on Swindon Town defender
Angus MacDonald was linked with a move to Bristol Rovers earlier this month, and would be a solid addition given his experience for Hull City and Rotherham United in the Championship.
He’s 30-years-old and so he’s not what is usually what Joey Barton wants in his backline, but given how young the defence his, they could benefit.
MacDonald could leave the County Ground today with Swindon in advanced talks to sign Malachi Fagan-Walcott. Burton Albion are the best contenders for his signature as per Swindon Advertiser.
Chesterfield striker on his way to Peterborough
Peterborough United are closing in on the signing of Kabongo Tshimanga according to The Star, with a move to Sheffield Wednesday not taking place. Peterborough love scouring the lower leagues for forwards to later sell on for a fee, and have done it before with Dwight Gayle.
Tshimanga is moving to London Road for a reported £250,000 after they triggered a release clause in his contract. He had been linked with a move to Birmingham City earlier in the season but a move to St Andrews collapsed.
Brett Pitman left Bristol Rovers permanently in the summer after making the move to Eastleigh around this time last year. Pitman’s no longer in the professional game but has continued playing.
He has dropped down to the ninth tier of English football, joining AFC Portchester and now they claim he’s scored the most goals in England this season.
Pitman has 36 goals this season, and his goal on the weekend made him the first player to reach 30 league goals across nine years.
Kilkenny is at Charlton!
Gavin Kilkenny has joined Charlton Athletic on loan from AFC Bournemouth for the remainder of the season. Kilkenny had been at Stoke City where he worked with Dean Holden briefly before he was relieved of his duties.
Striker returns to Bristol Rovers
“Always working hard and being ready for any opportunity,” the words of Sam Greenslade, the father of Harvey Greenslade.
Greenslade is back training with Bristol Rovers, and has shaved his hair just like his senior teammates in support of Nick Anderton. The 18-year-old has been on loan at Chippenham Town this season but returned in January.
He’s unlikely to make the first-team at the minute given the team are fighting for the play-offs in League One, but a loan move could be of a benefit to him. Teams outside the EFL are not bound by a transfer window, with their transfer registration deadline in March.
Rumoured summer transfer target released
Burton Albion have released Joe Dodoo, who was linked with a move to Bristol Rovers in the summer. Dodoo was at Rangers at the same time as Joey Barton. Dodoo made nine appearances for the Brewers but failed to get on the scoresheet.
MacDonald heads North...
That’s one that Bristol Rovers can forget about. Angus MacDonald was linked with a move to Bristol Rovers and Burton Albion this month, but he’s instead joined managerless Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
Owen Beck returns to Liverpool
Could a second Liverpool player join Bristol Rovers on loan? The Gas need a left-back to provide cover to Lewis Gordon and Scott Sinclair, and Owen Beck could be an option. Beck was on loan at Bolton Wanderers, but has been sent back to Merseyside where he could be available for transfer again.