After the successful loan spell at Shrewsbury Town for young forward Tom Eaves last campaign, it seems Bolton were all set to allow another young star the opportunity to test himself in League One at Greenhous Meadow. However, manager Graham Turner has reported a ‘serious' knee ligament injury has curtailed the plans.
Whilst not confirmed, the player in question is believed to be right-back Joe Riley, who already in his short career has been particularly unlucky with injuries. Speaking to the club's official website, Shrews' boss, Graham Turner, explained the current situation:
"We've still got the search on for another striker, maybe even two if we can. But from the signs that I've seen from both players, and to some extent Tom Bradshaw, its that we've got players up front who are capable of going in there an performing but we probably need at least another one.
"I'm disappointed not to have strengthened the squad before now. We did have a player lined up from Bolton, but unfortunately it sounds as if he's done his ligaments this week. So we would've had a Bolton lad in this week, it wasn't Tom Eaves, but it was unfortunate that we had one lined up and right at the last moment he suffered a serious injury."
The injury occurred in the recent development squad tie with Skelmersdale United, where second-half substitute Riley hobbled off with 20 minutes of the match remaining.
A product of the ever-evolving youth academy, Riley has made 9 appearances for the whites, including a very memorable performance in a satisfying 5-0 home win against Stoke City. Injury however has slowed Riley's rise, a broken foot limiting appearances to just two last term. It was hoped a season of first team football at Shrewsbury could make up for lost time, however injury has struck again and it appears to be of the serious nature.
Riley was all set to go on loan with Swindon Town last season until Paolo Di Canio publicly stated that he had no clue who the Bolton defender was.