Two weeks ago, Dougie Freedman told Bolton Wanderers fans (and any other teams keeping an eye on the situation) Stu Holden's new Trotters contract was just about a done deal and that all it needed was the signatures. Dougie said of the matter:
"Stuart was offered a contract the day he went to Sheffield Wednesday and he has accepted it. It isn't done yet, he hasn't signed it, but I know what he is like and he's a good man so that was the close of that event for me."
At that point, Holden was at Sheffield Wednesday on a month-long loan and was putting in the tough hours in a bid to return to full fitness.
Today, the American has echoed those sentiments.
After a two-year injury lay-off, Stu made his return to Bolton's first team and saw a few substitute minutes here and there before playing 67 minutes against Peterborough United. That playing time came as a result of Mark Davies suffering an injury and Holden was pushed straight into the action. A few matches sitting on the bench followed that and with the trio of Jay Spearing, Medo Kamara, and Darren Pratley putting in such positive performances, it was difficult for Holden to get into the mix.
Stu went on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and played in four (of seven possible) matches, going between 58 and 72 minutes in each one of those. While those watching said that Holden wasn't at the level he was prior to his injury, the American midfielder was making huge steps to reaching that level once again.
Speaking to the Bolton News, Holden opened up about what ended up being a very good spell away from the Reebok for Stu:
"The loan spell ticked all the boxes for me. They did well, got some good results, and I got sharper and better with each game.
"That was the main reason why I went there. Bolton paid for my entire loan, picking up my salary, but Wednesday were very accommodating, making it known they wanted me to get those games. I'm really thankful for that."
Holden also discussed his contract situation and provided news that should be a boost for the fans:
"I'm really excited to show people that what I was capable of before, I can be capable of again. The contract is at the final stages. I've had a good conversation with the gaffer and with the chairman that essentially agreed on everything. I just need to put pen to paper now.
"The loan got in the way of things a bit with all the commuting, the training and the games, so at this point it's just a point of finalising details.
"But whereas the gaffer maybe didn't think I was there fitness-wise when I left, after a month of games, I'm now in a much better position to be knocking on his door."