MATT Gilks has penned a new one-year deal at Wanderers after getting the all-clear from minor surgery on his knee.

The 39-year-old looks set to continue as Bolton’s number one after making a huge impact on his arrival in the side midway through last season.

After initially signing as goalkeeper coach and cover for Bily Crellin, he replaced the on-loan Fleetwood man in November and went on to keep 16 clean sheets in the Whites’ eventually run to promotion.

Gilks had a clean out operation at the end of the season, and Ian Evatt says he has full faith in his former Blackpool team-mate that he can be a first choice again next term.

“He was brilliant when he came in, I can’t speak highly enough of him,” he told The Bolton News.

“We have a strong personal relationship and I just said to Paul (Holliday) walking over here that I find it difficult to praise him – I don’t know why, and he moans at me all the time about that. But he knows how much I appreciate him and what he has done.

“He had a small knee operation at the end of the season that was basically a clean up and that went really well. The surgeon was really pleased with the state of his knees, so that was a positive for him, especially if he is playing a full season next season.

“Everyone can hear the organisation that he gives the team but we must not forget what a fantastic goalkeeper he still is and what qualities he has – he commands his box, makes good saves, why wouldn’t we want him to play on?”

Evatt has confirmed, however, that he will be looking to sign a senior keeper to provide direct competition for Gilks next season.

Burnley’s Lukas Jensen arrived in the previous transfer window on loan but has since returned to Turf Moor and is now playing in Iceland on another loan stint.

Wanderers’ only other keeper cover is youngster Matt Alexander – but Evatt says it is important to bring in someone with ample league experience to push Gilks for a place in the side.

“We need someone who is ready to play and has played, and that is what we are looking for,” he said. “We have one or two options highlighted but whoever we bring in will be able to step straight in and be able to play to a similar standard to Matt.”

Gilks was happy to have signed on for another season – his 20th in professional football after breaking through at Rochdale at the turn of the millennium.

“I’m delighted to have signed up for another year,” he said. “It was never in any doubt and I’m really looking forward to playing my part in the future of this wonderful football club.”