What Does Wheater’s Move Mean?

by Joshua Fowler

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The transfer window finally kick started this week – Aston Villa made sure it wouldn’t be a dull one, but what does the less glamorised move of David Wheater from Boro to Bolton mean for the next 11 days of the market? Having signed for an initial £2.3m, Wheater steps into a defence that is predominantly English, with Zat Knight and Gary Cahill established at Trotters rear, in front of the eternally youthful Jaaskelainen. So where does Wheater fit?

It’s arguable that having come up from the Championship to a team that is performing relatively well and playing the most attractive football in recent memory, that Wheater may just act as cover for now. Looking at Bolton’s defensive options, there seems to be an absence of a decent central defensive player waiting to step in when required.  Sitting pretty in 7th position under Owen Coyle, Bolton seem to have thrived in the gap that Everton, Liverpool and Aston Villa have left in the table this season. You could, therefore, argue that in making the step up to a team that can compete for a spot in that mini-league below the Top 4, Coyle has done what is needed by adding established players to the squad. Capped at U21 level and included in a few of Capello’s squads, it was really only a matter of time before clubs remembered Wheater, who seemed to have been forgotten after the demise of Boro which saw him linked with just about everyone.

However, and there is always a however in football, maybe this move signals the inevitable – Cahill to Anywhere. The reverse side of the viewpoint that Wheater is an astute signing by Coyle to cover his towering centre-backs is that Wheater is Gary Cahill’s replacement. Linked endlessly with Arsenal in particular, this could well be the first move in the slow, drawn out process that is a typical Arsenal signing. It’s well documented that Coyle and Wenger have a good relationship, Wenger’s booming baby Wilshere spent half the season at Bolton last year and rumours have spread about the departure of Carlos Vela from The Emirates to The Reebok during this window. It seems that Wenger is a long time admirer of Cahill and with his current defensive crisis, with both Vermaelen and Squillaci out, perhaps the deal that was always so far away, might just be close at hand.

Wenger refuses to name any names to the press, as usual, and it’s quite plausible that tomorrow he’ll unveil an *insert name here* player who we’ve never heard of as he does so regularly. Yet, the pieces seem to be falling into place for Cahill’s departure from Bolton, a move that Coyle admits is inevitable and that has seen endless speculation. Whether it’s Arsenal or as part of Harry’s collection of human chess pieces that he keeps in his garden down at White Hart Lane, the winds of change might just be blowing up The Reebok. He’ll be big miss for the Trotters, a big gain for wherever he lands and I’m sure he’ll be an even bigger back page headline. Who knows, maybe Villa will buy him back for £50m – just to keep things exciting.

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  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    Let’s hope Cahill does end up at Arsenal. We are in desperate need of a quality defender and he fits the bill. All depends how little Wenger is prepared to spend!

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