Marvin Sordell is certainly at a strange point in his career. He came to the Bolton Wanderers in January of this year, reportedly for the rather hefty fee of £3 million, making him Coyle's 2nd most expensive signing. He has looked decent in the chances he's been given, and has performed quite well on international duty for the England U21s. It would make sense that a young, promising striker that Bolton put in a lot of money for would be given a fair chance, especially for a team that doesn't have a clearly in form striker.
However, Sordell's time at Bolton has been far from happy. He's only been given 9 appearances in the 10 months since brought to the Reebok, 6 of those as a substitute, and has only scored 1 goal. He's received quite a bit of abuse, both from Bolton fans in social media, and from opposing fans, particularly racially. More than once, he hasn't even been included in the match day squad.
It's obvious that something has been going very wrong for the 21 year old, but whether it's on him or the management of the club is rather less clear, and more likely than not it's a combination of the two, which of course makes things even more complicated. Regardless, the managerial change at the Reebok can only improve things for Marvin, and it's clear he knows that as well, having tweeted "Fresh start on Monday :)" after once again being excluded from the squad this weekend against Middlesbrough.
New manager Dougie Freedman is well aware of the situation, and spoke about in his lengthy interview with BBC Radio Manchester (this comes about 47 minutes into the interview),
I've seen Marvin over the early years at the beginning when he was at Tranmere on loan and I spoke to him today on it. What we've got to understand is he's a young guy moved up from London. Where is he living? What is he doing? We've got to take all that into consideration. I was a young guy that moved for a lot of money and sometimes it's difficult.
You've got a manager here who works with the youth, who puts them in. I'm certainly going to looking at Marvin and thinking to myself that we should have him on the pitch. There's no doubt in my mind at all that if we're going to move up the table that people like Sordell are going to have to help us. It's up to me to get the best out of him and I'm very confident, I've experience of doing that. We can certainly achieve it.
Whether Sordell will prove to be a top goal scorer is still a valid question. When watching him play, you can see that he has good instincts, but still lacks the muscle memory, or perhaps the confidence, to have the lethal finishing that he will need. I have high hopes for Marvin, and it seems that Dougie does as well. Hopefully under his hand, Marvin will grow into the big boots he has his eyes on.