TRANMERE manager Les Parry will weigh up a trio of options today before deciding on how to fill the gap left by the departure of defender Scott Wootton.
The 19-year-old Wootton was recalled by Manchester United yesterday after completing a month on loan with Rovers.
Parry was not offered an extension on the loan so must find a new central defensive partner for Ian Goodison when Tranmere take on MK Dons in a League One encounter at Prenton Park this weekend.
The three alternatives under Parry’s consideration include a first senior outing of the season for Marlon Broomes, a recall for teenage prospect Nick Wood or a move back into the loan market, with Jermaine Grandison of Coventry City the top target.
Parry will want to see how Broomes reacts to a run out with the reserves at Preston yesterday – the 32-year-old’s first competitive action since suffering a knee injury during the summer.
Wood, 19, a summer signing who was released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season, has already made five senior appearances this season.
Grandison, also 19, impressed during a month on loan from Coventry that was ended by a hamstring injury at the end of September. Grandison is over the injury and says he would welcome the opportunity to return to Prenton Park.
Parry said: “I spoke to Manchester United and they said that they wanted Scott back. I will be writing to them to thank them because Scott has done a great job for us. I hope he learned something while he was here and became a more rounded player than the one we got.
“In the coming months, if we need a centre back because of injury, that will be the first call I make.”
Looking at the immediate priority of the MK Dons game, Parry added: “I will look at how Marlon does at Preston and at Nick Wood and see whether we need to bring in a player to replace Scott or not. Grandison is available and that’s a possibility.”
Birkenhead born Wootton played his fifth game in a Tranmere shirt on Tuesday night. He helped Rovers keep a clean sheet for the first time in five games in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second-round tie against Stockport County at Prenton Park and converted one of the spot kicks that saw the home team secure a penalty shootout victory.
Tranmere’s reward is a northern quarter-final tie against Bury, to be played at Gigg Lane on Tuesday, November 9, kick-off 7:45pm.
Left back Aaron Cresswell and striker Enoch Showunmi, the first team regulars who missed the Stockport game through injury, will be doubtful starters for the weekend.
Parry said: “Aaron’s hip is particularly sore. He tried to train on Monday and could hardly move, so he is a massive doubt. We had thought about putting Enoch on the bench against Stockport but he is still struggling with his shoulder and calf. So I would say he is 50/50 for Saturday.”