Tom Knowles wanted to leave Yeovil Town when League Two Walsall came in for him on the eve of the new season, according to Glovers’ boss Chris Hargreaves.

The forward scored ten times in 46 appearances for the Glovers last season and that form caught the eye of the Saddlers – perhaps when they came to check out their own loanee midfielder Sam Perry during pre-season.

Asked about the decision to sell one of his main assets just 48 hours before the opening day trip to Scunthorpe United, Hargreaves told BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins the situation was “not ideal.”

Chris Hargreaves talks to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins ahead of the 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe United.

He added: “I have only got good things to say about (Tom), he was brilliant with me and always gave it everything, I didn’t want to lose him and the football club didn’t but an amount of money was offered and the player wanted to go.

You have to let it be about the player’s decision because you don’t want an unhappy player. I’m not saying he would have been but sometimes things are out of my hands and all I can focus on now is the players I have got.

They are the ones who are working hard to get in to the team and now I have to work on finding that person who replaces Tom and can be our match-winner and talisman who can turn something in to nothing in the final third.”

Asked whether he had been made any assurances that the funds from the transfer would be available to strengthen the squad, the manager said chairman Scott Priestnall had “made it clear” he would be supported.

Hargreaves added: “The likelihood of Tom going at the end of the season was high, so a decision had to be made at some point. As manager I can only focus on what is in front of me, I didn’t want him to go but we have got to move on, we wish him all the best and we have to focus on what we have now.

Following the departure of Knowles, Hargreaves brought in 19-year-old Matt Grivosti on a youth loan from Bolton Wanderers. The length of the loan was not disclosed.

Grivosti joins goalkeeper Will Buse (Bristol City), defender Finley Craske (Plymouth Argyle) and midfielders Sam Perry (Walsall) and Sam Pearson (Bristol City) who make up the other four loanees at Huish Park.

In terms of permanent arrivals, strikers Alex Fisher and Malachi Linton and full-back Jamie Reckord have joined in the summer having been released by Newport County, Wycombe Wanderers and Boreham Wood respectively.

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