IT'S four weeks since the transfer window slammed shut and yet we are still discussing the possibility of new players coming to the Macron Stadium.

Ken Anderson announced this week that Wanderers are still in the market for free agents to strengthen their squad for the run-in - and most fans have taken that to mean another striker could be on his way.

Ex-Nigeria international Chinedu Obasi remains on trial, while other options are being assessed.

But do the Whites really need another front man at this late stage of the season? We examine both sides of the argument and give YOU the chance to vote one way or another.


The Bolton News: Chelsea's Diego Costa is tackled by FC Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng (right) and Chinedu Obasi during the UEFA Champions League, Group G match at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool.

IN the words of Bruce Rioch, the revered former Wanderers boss, “you can never have too many strikers.”

The philosophy was actually lifted from his trusted chief scout Ian McNeill but applied perfectly when you consider the attacking riches amassed in the mid-nineties at Burnden Park from John McGinlay and Andy Walker, through Owen Coyle, Fabian De Freitas and Mixu Paatelainen.

The argument for Wanderers dipping back into the free agent market in the next couple of weeks might not be that they don’t have enough strikers, more that they don’t have the right blend.

Wanderers have scored just 29 goals this season, and only nine away from the comfort of the Macron Stadium. And of that haul, Gary Madine had claimed nearly half.

When the big target man left for Cardiff City on deadline day you could not help but feel the Whites were taking a massive gamble, more so when they failed to add a direct replacement.

Results since Madine’s departure have been a mixed bag, two wins, two draws and two defeats in six games. Keeping up a similar points return to the end of the season should see the Whites safe.

But the goal return in those games – just the three shared by Zach Clough, Adam Le Fondre and Sammy Ameobi – suggests there is still something missing and that the margins could be very tight indeed.

Phil Parkinson had built a team around the 4-2-3-1 formation but has had to change tack quickly, with only veteran striker Aaron Wilbraham really able to step into the same role and lead the line outright. The 38-year-old has a good Championship pedigree but looks in desperate need of a goal to help win over his doubters.

Another factor to consider is that Wanderers’ last game of the season will be at home to Nottingham Forest, where neither Clough nor Tyler Walker are eligible to play. Were the club’s relegation fate to hang on the final 90 minutes, the lack of senior attacking options could come back to haunt them.


The Bolton News: WINGING IT: Sammy Ameobi should be ready to return for Wanderers after the break

IF it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

Wanderers’ current form will almost certainly see them safe from relegation, which would be a quite incredible achievement given the fact no side has ever recovered from the kind of start they made to the Championship season up to the start of October.

Parkinson has made a habit of thinking on his feet since pitching up at Bolton and has had to reinvent his team on a couple of occasions around deadline day. His current plan of action, however, looks tailor-made for the business end of a relegation run-in.

Such is the tension towards the end of the season, the standard of football drops at both ends of the league.

The Wanderers boss has resolved to make sure his team are not giving away cheap goals, bringing back the three-man defence which helped secure promotion. Defensively, there has been great improvement and the attitude shown to grind out a goalless draw at Norwich on Saturday summed up the all-for-one mindset perfectly.

The manager seems pleased with the character in the camp – so would the introduction of a so-called ‘outsider’ upset the delicate eco balance?

Parkinson has five options: Le Fondre, Ameobi, Clough, Walker and Wilbraham, plus the wildcard of Under-23s’ regular goal-getter Connor Hall. You might argue he is blessed with as many attacking options as he has at any time of his tenure as Bolton boss.

Anyone who comes in at this stage of the campaign would require time to get match sharp. And we all know Ken Anderson’s thoughts on wasted wages.

Wanderers have managed thus far by chopping and changing. Ameobi has been a main-stay, moved to a central role, but others have been kept on their toes. Most fans are happy to see Le Fondre getting more football, and Clough back in a Bolton shirt, so is there a pressing need to change?

The Whites might not be winning any style awards as they edge towards safety but at this stage it is all about reaching the finishing line. And at present, it looks like being a collective effort.