WREXHAM manager Dean Saunders has washed his hands of Wes Baynes after the 20-year-old defender yesterday handed in a shock transfer request.
The Dragons boss admitted he was flabbergasted by the youngster’s decision to seek a move, which came in the wake of a heart-to-heart talk with the Dragons boss on Tuesday morning.
Saunders said: “Wes has asked to be put on the transfer list, but I’m not sure what is going through his head.
“He played in the last game we had and if he listens to me I can help to improve him as a player, but if he does not want to be here then he can go.
“We have not lost a game for God knows how long, but by asking for a move he is virtually saying he does not want to stay here and help us achieve what we want for Wrexham.”
Following his chat with Baynes on Tuesday – a conversation Saunders has had with several of his other players previously – the Wrexham boss told the Daily Post he would be relentless in his pursuit of excellence.
And yesterday he suggested Baynes was clearly not up for the challenge, despite having figured in eight of the club’s 11 league games since the managerial change at the Racecourse in October.
“I’ve been straight with all the players here and where some have asked to go out on loan I have tried to help them,” added Saunders. “Everybody knows where I stand and what my aims are and if Wes doesn’t want to play his part he can go – where that will be I don’t know.
“I didn’t have a transfer list until today and Wes is the only name on it. I’m flabbergasted because we have not had an argument or a cross word.
“But I will not accept it if players are not 100% committed and my attitude is that if it is too hot in the kitchen then people should get out.
“The players owe it to Wrexham, to the chairman, to the supporters and to me not to short change the club and if they cannot accept that they will have to go somewhere a bit more cushy. I talked yesterday about how some players find it difficult to be professional every day, but it has to be the most important thing in their lives.
“If I criticise my players I tell them that’s because I know what it takes to be a professional footballer. It’s constructive criticism because I’m trying to teach them to be better players.”
Baynes was not available for comment yesterday, but his transfer request suggests he has played his last game for Saunders, who last week sanctioned a month-long loan spell at York City for full back Kyle Critchell.
Neil Taylor, who played on the right of the defence during a recent injury absence that forced Baynes to miss three league games, is the likely candidate to return for Saturday’s FA Trophy second round match at Basingstoke Town, although the game is in doubt because of the freezing weather.
Baynes, who came through the Racecourse school of excellence before signing professional term in the summer of 2007, made 10 full appearances during his first season and, although the campaign saw Wrexham lose their Football League status, he finished on a high note with two goals as the Dragons beat Lincoln City 4-2 in the final game.
Largely sidelined by former boss Brian Little at the beginning of this season, the Chester-born defender was recalled by Saunders for his first game in charge at Forest Green and, injuries notwithstanding, has been a regular ever since.
Baynes has 18 months to run on his current contract and Wrexham will be seeking a fee should he move on.
l MOLD and district supports club are holding their next meeting at the ex-serviceman’s club (bottom club) on Wrexham Road in Mold on Monday, January 12 from 7.30pm.