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.”