Key Bristol Rovers transfer question answered as Joey Barton remains patient with Premier League and Championship clubs

Bristol Rovers have done some good transfer business so far - but why aren’t they borrowing anyone just yet?
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Bristol Rovers have recruited four players so far in the summer transfer window - but where are the loan signings under Joey Barton that we have been accustomed to?

James Wilson, Luke Thomas, Jevani Brown and George Friend have all signed up for the 2023/24 season, and have signed on free transfers, with Thomas given a three-year deal. The 24-year-old was once a loan player at the Memorial Stadium, and the loan market is where Barton has looked to complement his squad in his two-and-a-half-years in charge.

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As of yet though, no player has arrived on loan so far, though that is to be expected. Joey Barton has looked to the Premier League and Championship, and asked favours of his former clubs like Burnley and Newcastle United for their younger players, but given we’re still in pre-season, the clubs aren’t ready right now to give players out for the campaign.

Most teams in the Premier League are on tour with the USA proving a popular destination, whilst Manchester City are going to Japan and South Korea, meanwhile Tottenham are touring Asia too. In the Championship, most teams are either going to Spain or Portugal, or remaining in the United Kingdom, but their teams aren’t at full strength still.

As is the nature now of the football calendar, there were EURO 2024 qualifying matches played in June, and in a few cases, a few players were still involved in international duty this month with the Gold Cup on. Clubs are being advised by their medical teams not to overexpose their players and give them too many minutes if they’ve already played games for their country.

The answer to that is that Premier League and Championship clubs are looking to their Under-21’s to help beef up their squads in their pre-season preparations. This is an opportunity for the younger players to stake a claim, and they may even change the opinion of their managers. For some players, they’ll have been on loan elsewhere and their manager may not have been able to have seen them first hand, and they could perform well in training and in games, which could move them up the pecking order.

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To date, there have been 24 loan players brought in by 13 clubs in League One this season. Oxford United, Wycombe, Exeter City, Leyton Orient, Port Vale and Shrewsbury Town have all brought in more than one loan player.

It wasn’t until the third week of the season that Lewis Gibson was signed on loan from Everton, and then on Deadline Day we saw the arrivals of Josh Coburn, Sylvester Jasper and Bobby Thomas. In the January transfer window Lamare Bogarde joined on the last day from Aston Villa, and turned out to be a decent addition. The last few days of the transfer window is when we’re likely to see some loan players head to the West Country, as the saying goes patience is a virtue.

Clubs will have done 75% of their business and then fringe players will begin to become available, and you only have to look at Elliot Anderson, who was suggested to Joey Barton by his former Newcastle United teammate Shola Ameobi, as to what late gems you can find late on in the window.

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