The Premier League centre-backs Bristol Rovers could sign on loan - including Chelsea and Newcastle starlets

A new centre-back is at the top of Joey Barton’s wish list but signing one is easier said than done, especially in August

Bristol Rovers remain on the hunt for new players as they look to fill their squad for the 2022/23 League One campaign.

Joey Barton wants up to seven more players, despite already signing five faces this summer with former Brentford defender Lewis Gordon the latest arrival.

Barton has spoken about how the middle part of August is difficult to get any business done because most happens either at the start of the window or towards the end of it.

There are a few gaps in the squad that need to be dealt with as the days tick down until the close of the registration period.

A new centre-back is on the top of the wish list, especially after last season’s loan hero Connor Taylor broke through to the Stoke City team.

An injury to James Gibbons means Luca Hoole is likely to move back to right-back, allowing for Alfie Kilgour to come in but bodies are needed.

Here we take a look at some centre-backs still available, more specifically on loan, as that has been the obvious route before.

Dynel Simeu (Southampton)

Standing at six foot and one inches, could Simeu be the answer to Rovers’ defensive worries?

He was on loan in League Two with Carlisle United last year and made 18 appearances, helping the Cambrians to preserve their Football League status.

Simeu has so far began the season with the Under-21’s team at St Mary’s, but given how he was allowed to leave in January, a loan move could be in the pipeline.

Newcastle United know Bristol Rovers can nurture their young players. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Charlie Wiggett (Newcastle United)

Could Barton get a bit of help from his former Toon teammates Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper, who last season gave him Elliot Anderson?

Newcastle know what Barton is about as a manager and have seen first-hand what he can do for a youth player. The fact Anderson was a substitute in the Premier League on Saturday proves that.

Wiggett would be a big coup if they could persuade Newcastle to loan him out. He’s been on the books of both Chelsea before being snapped up by Newcastle last season, playing in the EFL Trophy as well as the Premier League 2.

He is predominantly a centre-back and was prolific last year, scoring six goals in 23 appearances, which would make him a threat in both boxes. Wiggett has the ability to play at left-back and on the right-hand side which would make him adaptable to any change in system and formation.

Jake O’Brien (Crystal Palace)

O’Brien is a player on the radar of the Gas but they face competition from league rivals Barnsley, who are in a position to offer the player the chance to be a part of a side with promotion ambitions rather than survival. Talk of him moving to the Memorial Stadium or Oakwell has gone quiet and he played the entirety of the match against Brighton’s U21’s in their opening PL2 fixture.

O’Brien is older than some of the other players suggested and is 21-years-old with a good amount of senior appearances under his belt. He broke through at Cork City, playing in the League of Ireland, before a loan spell at League Two play-off semi-finalists Swindon Town on the second-half of last season.

Bashir Humphreys (Chelsea)

In his first pre-match press conference of the season, Barton sent out a message to Premier League clubs, naming Chelsea, promising to give any half decent young players a platform, returning them back as better players.

Chelsea have a plethora of talent and have been successful at youth level, so why not pick off one of their best players?

Humphreys is the captain of the Under-21’s team and oversaw the Blues’ 7-1 win over Wolverhampton this week.

He was previously on the books of Reading and is an Under-19 international.

At 19-years-old, he as a regular in the U18 Premier League and has already amassed half of those appearances at the next age grade level.

Jeremiah Chilokoa-Mullen (Leeds United)

At 18-years-of-age, Chilokoa-Mullen has already got a number ominutes above his age under his belt. He has already been capped five times for the Scotland Under-19’s team and he is a regular feature for Leeds United’s youth teams.

After featuring 17 times for the U18’s, scoring one goal he was able to move up and adapt to the Under-23’s level, playing at times against some experienced players.