Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town’s recent transfer activity will prove value for money compared to some other clubs in League One.
Portsmouth and Peterborough United have spent seven-figure sums on new strikers over the course of the summer
In contrast, Barton spent his first transfer fee since taking over last year by securing the return of Ched Evans for a fee of around £250,000 from Sheffield United.
That was followed by a new deal for Ross Wallace, who has been training at the club and signed in time to sit on the bench for Town’s 2-1 comeback win over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Evans and Paddy Madden scored 37 times between them last season, and with players such as Josh Morris, Wes Burns and Ash Hunter also at Highbury, Barton is happy.
He said: “Players want to be here, that is the key for me.
“Historically this club has paid well, and when I look at the value in the marketplace and the deal that has been done for Ched, we have got incredible value compared to some of the sides in and around us.
“I think we are about £240-250k for Ched which is phenomenal value in the marketplace for a 20-plus-goal-a-season striker who has made adjustments in the off-season, has ambition, a hunger about him.
“Him and Paddy Madden, you are almost guaranteed 40 goals between them.
“If you are going to get promoted you need 70, 80, 90 goals and it is nice when you look around and see players who are going to deliver 20, 15 goals a season.
“Every manager needs them and the challenge is for the other lads to chip in around them.
“Josh Morris did that on Saturday and Paddy gets off and running.”
Wallace was named on the bench at Highbury on Saturday but Evans did not make the matchday squad.
The striker had told the Gazette last week that he is working on his fitness.
He may only make his second debut in 10 days’ time as Barton wants the striker – who did not have a pre-season due being transfer-listed by the Blades – to get up to speed.
Barton said: “We will monitor them.
“Ross is closer than Ched; Ched is a little bit behind, just due to the nature of pre-season.
“He’s working hard and in really good shape, probably the best shape I have ever seen him.
“But we just need to go through the protocols to be fit for purpose.
“A lot of our lads have worked incredibly hard in pre-season; a big emphasis on fitness and being able to run hard and finish games.
“All Ched needs is just to get a body of work in.
“That might be 10 days, two weeks, you tend to give them a bit more time when you are winning games!
“He is in good fettle. We just have to do the right thing by him and make sure he is ready to play 40 league games for us this season.”