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Fleetwood boss Rosler ready to find Bell replacement after defender seals Blackburn Rovers switch

Amari'i Bell has just left Fleetwood Town
Amari'i Bell has just left Fleetwood Town

The ink is not yet dry on Amari’i Bell’s transfer to Blackburn Rovers but head coach Uwe Rosler says Fleetwood Town are already on the hunt for a new left-back.

Bell, 23, joined Town’s League One rivals Rovers on a two and a half year deal on Friday but he is not expected to feature for his new club in Saturday’s Lancashire derby at Highbury.

Rosler says Bell’s departure and finding a replacement is something Town have been preparing for as his contract was due to expire in the summer.

And he revealed a competent, left-footed, left-back is now top of his shopping list with Town flexible enough to dip either into the loan market or seek a permanent replacement.

But right now Rosler says as a coach his priority is to find a solution on Saturday to fill the hole left by Bell.

New January signing, full-back Gethin Jones (pictured), could move over to the left, having made his first start for the club during the 2-0 FA Cup replay defeat at Premier League side Leicester City in midweek.

The 22-year-old slotted into that role during his loan spell from Everton at Championship side Barnsley in the second half of last season; as a result, it is a position that would not be alien to him.

Alternatively, Rosler could always use development squad left-back Joe Maguire, who deputised for Bell when Town earned a 2-0 win at Scunthorpe United last March.

Rosler said: “I think we coaches need to find a solution for Saturday and the club has to find a solution to bring a left-back in, a competent left-back.

“First and foremost I am not talking about any names; when Amari’i goes out we always said he has to be replaced.

“There is no shortcuts on that one, the club has to bring a player who is competent who can play every three days like Amari’i did.

“It is difficult. I will be involved in those discussions.

“I will be involved in the finding of the player but, from a club side, we knew for quite a long time that it could happen.

“I am confident that we, as a football club, will present a left-back either on a long term or a short term on-loan until the end of the season before the transfer window closes.

“Because Amari’i goes out I think it is very wise to bring in a left-footed left-back.”