TRANMERE have added Stoke City prospect Ryan Brunt to their attacking options for the League One encounter with promotion chasing Huddersfield Town at Prenton Park tomorrow.
The 18-year-old is signing a one-month loan deal, with manager Les Parry adding that Rovers will continue their attempts to recruit an experienced front man before the close of the January transfer window on Tuesday.
Parry said: “Stoke think very highly of Ryan and he has already been out on loan this season at Luton Town. He is a decent size and quick. They have sent him here to get a feel of first-team football. Hopefully he will be able to do a job for us.”
Brunt played five games on loan to Conference club Luton in November and December. He will give Parry an extra option in attack while the long-term injury to Enoch Showunmi leaves Tranmere with only one specialist centre forward, Mustafa Tiryaki.
The signing of another, more experienced striker could follow next week.
Parry explained: “I am acutely aware that the transfer window is closing and acutely aware of how thin we are on strikers. It remains our intention to bring in an established striker who has a record of scoring goals and hopefully can do that for us.
“I have put in offers for players with two Championship clubs. We can’t afford both but hopefully one will be coming.
“Unfortunately our offer is (to pay) a very small proportion of the player’s wages. Both clubs have said they will be happy for those players to come to us but first they are going to see if they can find clubs that will pay a bigger proportion of the wages before they let them come to us. That’s the problem, so the chances of us bringing in someone before Tuesday are slim.”
The situation could be complicated further if Turkish club Trabzonspor come back with an improved offer for Tiryaki. Rovers denied Trabzonspor permission to talk to the 24-year-old Tiryaki – who is London born of Turkish parents – unless they topped up the offer they made for the player last week.
“We have not heard from them since,” Parry said. “We need Mustafa on Saturday and the longer it drags on the better, as far as I’m concerned.”
The injury problems at Prenton Park show no sign of abating.
Right back David Raven is to undergo a double hernia operation next Tuesday and will be out of action for six weeks while utility man Zoumana Bakayogo has been housebound this week with infection causing his leg to swell.
Midfielder Joss Labadie saw a specialist this week about the problems caused by an artificial pin in his foot.
Parry said: “Joss has been put on medication to calm his foot down. The specialist is hoping he will be able to get through to the end of the season and have an operation to remove the pin then.”
Showunmi (leg) and midfielder Andy Robinson (knee) face up to another month on the sidelines while goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams’ comeback from a broken hand presents Parry with another dilemma.
Fon Williams is hoping to play his first comeback game in the reserves against Manchester City on Monday. Meanwhile Paul Rachubka, who has deputised for the Welshman for the past two months, is due to play the final game of his loan spell from Leeds United against Huddersfield tomorrow.
If Tranmere ask to extend the loan, it will have to be for a full month, which is an expensive option. If Tranmere do not extend the loan, Rachubka will have three days to find a new loan assignment before the close of the January transfer window.