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Loan Updates: How Are Our Boys Doing?

Gone, but not forgotten (except Sordell)

Nice perm, mate
Nice perm, mate
Charlie Crowhurst

Wanderers have never really been the sort of club to use the loan system properly, in my opinion.

We've done well in the best in terms of incoming loanees - the likes of Bruno Ngotty, Youri Djorkaeff, Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere all improved and helped the club maintain Premier League status in the past.

Outgoing loans are used by other clubs to give fringe players time on the field, or to develop. Wanderers however have rarely done this. I've never quite understood why. Current manager Dougie Freedman hasn't really done a great deal to change this, and I think we're missing a trick.

The likes of Connor Wilkinson, Chris Lester and Tom Eaves have gone out on loans this season, but they're the tip of the iceberg. Surely Zac Clough and Andy Kellett - prominent members of the reserve squad - would be better served out on loan in League One or Two than a few games every now and then up at Leyland? Perhaps.

This year we have a handful of players sent out on temporary deals across the nation....let's have a see how they've done:

1) Marvin Sordell

A complete and utter disaster at Bolton Wanderers, and not a fan of Dougie Freedman. Sordell has been out on loan at fellow Championship side Charlton Athletic since August though he has found regular games and goals hard to come by.

Appearances - 9

Goals - 1

2) Gary Fraser

A highly regarded Scottish midfielder who signed for Bolton in July 2013 and was immediately sent on loan back to Scotland and Partick Thistle.

Fraser infamously found himself the subject of press attention after attacking an opponent in an U20 league fixture against Dunfermline Athletic in October. Fraser was cited by the SFA compliance officer and faced a potential one-year ban from Scottish football. He was eventually banned for a total of nine games, running until 1 January 2014. The ban ends three days before his loan deal expires, and the club stated they were considering extending it.

Appearances - 4

Goals - 0

Opponents Beaten Up - 1

3) Keith Andrews

A highly divisive figure amongst Bolton supporters. Andrews is an Irish midfielder of some renown, but one who struggled to find top form and convince whilst at the Reebok. A regular first-teamer in his debut season at the Reebok before injury struck, Andrews is one of the club's top earners and was a victim of Dougie Freedman's cost-cutting as he shifted funds around in order to afford Jay Spearing.

Andrews joined fellow Championship side Brighton in August on a season-long loan where he has played regularly and, by all accounts, become an important part of their first team.

Appearances - 12

Goals - 1

4) Tom Eaves

Hipster wannabe Eaves is a mercurial presence in the Wanderers squad. Signed by Owen Coyle following a hat-trick scored against Bolton for Oldham Athletic, injury and circumstance has meant that Eaves' Bolton career has been very much stop-start.

Successful loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town preceded a run in the first team at the expense of former striker Kevin Davies at the tail end of the 2012/13 season though Eaves' three games failed to yield a goal and highlighted the deficiencies in his game which have led to him failing to make the grade at Championship level thus far.

In September 2013 he was loaned to Rotherham United where he made eight appearances without scoring. In a surprise twist he was again loaned out this time to Shrewsbury Town, where he scored a goal on his second debut, in a 3-1 victory away at Stevenage.

Appearances - Rotherham 8 - Shrewsbury 2

Goals - Rotherham 0 - Shrewsbury 1

5) Cian Bolger

Irish centre half Bolger joined Bolton Wanderers from Leicester City following a successful loan spell at Bristol Rovers.

Yet to make his debut for the first team, Bolger is the captain of the Wanderers reserve side.

He joined Colchester United on loan on 24th October on an initial month's loan though this was extended at the end of November.

Appearances - 4

Goals - 2

6) Chris Lester & Connor Wilkinson

Local lad Chris is a favourite of mine, not just because he has a wicked first name, but because he's an exciting attacking winger who has made great strides this season in progressing from the youth team into the reserves and often finding himself on the bench for the firsts.

Wilkinson signed for Bolton for a fee of £80,000 in the Summer having refused a new contract with Millwall. The Irish striker has been banging them in for the reserves ever since and is surely on the brink of a first-team call up, especially considering that we only have one striker who isn't complete pish.

Both joined Chester on YTS loans in November which means they can play for their first team whilst training with Bolton and playing for our reserves at the same time. Players to watch.