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Paper claims Cardiff interest in Chris Eagles but is selling wise?

Charlie Crowhurst

A report late last night claims that Premier League-bound Cardiff City are interested in dynamic Bolton Wanderers midfielder Chris Eagles. The report, from the Daily Mirror, suggests that Watford rate Eagles at £2 million and that the interest really comes from when Cardiff boss Malky Mackay played alongside Eagles at Watford some seven years ago.

At the moment, this is speculation from a paper known for speculating but it does bring up an interesting conversation. Would it be wise for Bolton Wanderers to sell Chris Eagles over the summer?

Eagles started the season like a house on fire, scoring six goals in the team's first 11 league matches and assisting five more in that stretch. Over the course of this season, the midfielder has scored nine goals and provided 12 assists. He had a poor run of form that stretched from December to March but a goal at the death against Blackburn seemed to have woken Eagles up once more.

When on his game, Chris Eagles has the potential to be the best player in Bolton's team. When off, Eagles was much maligned by the Bolton fanbase. The player, tired from being involved in just about every single match that Bolton Wanderers had played at that point this season, looked very far off the pace that he set for himself at the start of the year. The fans getting on his back with very loud booing did not help matters.

The Blackburn winner saw Chris Eagles rise to prominence again in the minds of Bolton fans and the winner against Huddersfield Town reaffirmed that Eagles was on his way back. A very good performance against Bristol City last week saw Eagles end the game without a goal or assist but, in truth, he was unlucky to do so.

Never mind the fact that Chris Eagles is one of the few Bolton players that can pull the strings when he's feeling it on the pitch, his versatility makes him a vital asset for the Trotters. Eagles has played left, right, and center for Bolton this season and has produced results in all of those positions.

Then, there's the question of money. For the likes of Bolton, £2 million for a player is a substantial sum. If the signings of Medo Kamara and Craig Davies are anything to go by, Dougie Freedman has the potential to do a lot with those funds.

What about cover? Instead of going out and purchasing another winger to back Chris Eagles and Chung-Yong Lee, Bolton will have to go out and buy (at least) two. The loan option exists, of course, but Bolton Wanderers' loans of late, save for Jay Spearing and Craig Dawson, have very much missed the mark.

When Dougie Freedman first arrived at Bolton Wanderers, he said that Chris Eagles was the man he wanted to build his Trotters team around:

"I think Chris Eagles is very crucial to this club. He is still young enough and I saw him in training and he has a spark in his eye that he wants to do well.

"I mention him because I believe if I can get him firing in the right way, he will be key to our success. He is one of many I look forward to working with.

"When you are in my business, you know how many hours sleep someone like Chris Eagles gets every night. When I study teams, I want to know exactly who they are, and we played Bolton a few weeks ago."

Six months later, Chris Eagles is making his way back to that early form but clearly not fully back to that. What do you think: is Chris Eagles the man to lead Bolton Wanderers or should the Trotters get rid?