When the news broke late on Wednesday night before being officially confirmed the following morning, many Wanderers fans resigned to the fact that the former Olympian will spend time away from the Reebok next year. After his £3.2m move from Watford two-and-a-half-years ago, his time at the Reebok has been turbulent.
In his debut season when the Whites were in the Premier League, Sordell barely featured and failed to save their spot in the top flght. Last season, in the Championship, we had high hopes of the young striker coming good but unfortunately (apart from a stretch in January and a pair of goals at the tail end of the campign) he failed to impress again. With a disappointing four goals in the league (eight in all competitions), things were looking bleak.
Despite Wanderers' overall poor pre-season, Sordell was arguably one of few players to stand out. Personally, I’m not a fan of him but was excited to see what he could offer this season and had expected him to lead the Wanderers’ line at Turf Moor on opening day.
To some, this loan seems crazy and perhaps a bit stupid, but Dougie Freedman has to have a reason for making the move. Last year, Bolton found success playing the 4-5-1 with the lone striker and presumably a midfielder playing behind him in the number 10 role. Additionally, we had five strikers who would be expecting game time during the season. In the aforementioned system and Dougie presumably sticking with his former Leeds strike partner, Jermaine Beckford, or David Ngog, Marvin Sordell would seem likely to spend extended time on the bench. On top of that, Marvin failed to impress or grasp playing as a lone striker last season. It looked as though he lacked strength and was often easily dispossessed and couldn’t hold the ball up. We know that David Ngog is better at this aspect of the game.
Last season, Dougie Freedman made a number of comments to the press, citing Sordell's "homesickness" as a reason for the striker's inability to find his feet at Bolton. The loan to Charlton would allow him to London, an area in which he's comfortable, and hopefully help him find some sort of form in front of the goal.
Perhaps the greatest point of debate is the length of the loan; half a season would allow him to return as a ‘new talent’ and help propel us up the table in the same fashion as last season. With it being for a full season, Wanderers fans will most likely only see him return next pre-season. On the other hand, the loan means that Bolton have freed up his wages for a year, allowing Dougie some flexibility to maneuver in the transfer market. Most would love to see last year’s loanees in Spearing & Dawson return to the Reebok.
Looking at the big picture, the Sordell loan could well be a good move. It will give Jermaine Beckford a chance to shine and maybe Tom Eaves will get some more game time, which will be exciting. Hopefully the loan is successful and Marvin will return next summer rejuvenated as a forward. He’s a young man at just 22 so it would be beneficial for him if he’s playing every week, Charlton can offer this.
We all wish Marvin the best of luck next season.