'You cannot have loans as the bedrock of your team' - Richie Wellens on how he will put together his Doncaster Rovers squad

Richie Wellens is desperate to avoid loan signings becoming the core of his Doncaster Rovers side

Monday, 24th May 2021, 12:17 pm

Rovers have been keen users of the loan market in recent years to bolster squad numbers and new boss Wellens says that will be no different under his watch as finances dictate it is prudent to explore the options available.

But he is certain that he wants contracted players to be the basis on which his side is built.

“First and foremost I want the foundations, three or four permanent signings,” he told the Free Press.

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Richie Wellens

“You cannot have loans as the bedrock of your team.

“So what we will do is have Tom Anderson, Jon Taylor I’m hoping Reece James re-signs, Andy Butler and then add three or four permanent signings and they will be our foundations.

“From there we will add loan players that really want to be here, have the right characteristics and are not just using it as a stepping stone, or think whenever the going gets tough ‘it’s okay because I’ll be going back to my parent club.’

“We can add loan players, mostly in attacking areas, that can give us a lot of quality.

“When you tend get a loan player in, it’s very cheap, either free or a few hundred pounds and their earnings at their parent club are vast amounts of money that we can’t afford.

“The foundations are from the permanent signings that are the bedrock of the team and then quality loan signings that can add.”

Rovers finished last season with seven loan players on their books - two more than the the number permitted to be named in any matchday squad.

Wellens insists he would not want to bring in more than five loanees at any one time.

“If you have any more than five then you start opening yourselves up to conflict and what you end up doing is take your attention away from the starting XI and have to manage the players that aren’t playing,” he said.

“I’m a believer that you have to manage those that aren’t playing more than the starting XI because half the time the ones playing can look after themselves.

“But if you get extra loan players in then you’re making extra problems for yourself that don’t need to be there.

“Five loans would be the ideal amount.”

Rovers held a recruitment meeting last Thursday were initial transfer targets were discussed with work set to begin on trying to bring players in.

“We’re all on the same page,” Wellens said.

“Graham Younger [talent ID manager] will drive it. He’ll be the point of contact for every agent, for head of recruitment at other clubs, and he’ll filter the information back to us.

“I think that’s the best way to work. It can become a bit scattergun when six or seven people are receiving calls.

“We’re going to do it the right, professional way.

“We need to start putting things in place.

“At the minute we’ve got one winger in Jon Taylor and two strikers. We will need attacking players.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.