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Dean Keates draws up lengthy list of Walsall transfer targets

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall boss Dean Keates has revealed he has drawn up a long list of transfer targets as looks to compete against the bigger budgets in League One.

Dean Keates

The 39-year-old has already held positive talks with a number of players as he prepares for his first full season in charge.

But with the Saddlers operating on one of the lowest budgets in the division, Keates says it is vital he has multiple targets instead of focusing all his efforts on a handful of players.

“We are what we are – we’re not going to be the biggest payers,” Keates said. “I can’t get a player in and say you’re going to earn a king’s salary.

“We will be played and we will be used to help broker better deals elsewhere.

“It’s a case of me highlighting players – but not just one player and putting all my eggs in one basket.

“I’ll be identifying two, three, maybe even four players for that one position.

“But they will all have the characteristics and qualities that I want at the football club.

“If I don’t get the first one I talk to, the second, third and fourth will be very similar and I will know what they are about.

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“I will know what their attributes are and I’ll make sure they tick the box for what I want in that position.”

Keates admits he has been surprised by some of the wages League One clubs are willing to pay players.

“When I hear some of the budgets and some of the wages that are being paid in this division – I am wowed by it,” the boss added.

“Unfortunately that is what we are up against.

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“All we can do is stay together and be united.

“The fans have a big part to play in that and they have been outstanding with the passion they have shown in the stands and around the place.

“We want to get the entire town behind the football club.

“Then I can put out a team that will give the fans, the football club and the badge 110 per cent.

“That is all I ask of the players, to go out and give everything.

“Then it’s about all the little bits and pieces and the extras coming off.

“And when it all falls into place, that is amazing.

“But the bare minimum will be to go out there and give absolutely everything for the football club.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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