When Marvin Sordell joined Bolton Wanderers from Watford during the 2012 January transfer window, he brought with him a great deal of potential, promise and expectation. The fee paid remains undisclosed but is believed to be around the £3.5m mark. This is quite a large investment for a club of Bolton's stature in a (at the time) 20 year old with no Premier League experience and one which was questioned by the fans.
Despite this, there was still hope that the young striker could develop in to something special and would justify the initial financial outlay. This, however, has not been the case. From joining at the end of January 2012 to the end of the season, Marvin would only manage 3 substitute appearances as Wanderers slipped into the Championship. During this time many fans were left wondering as to why he had not been given his chance, given our struggles at the time. Some pointed the finger at Owen Coyle's unwillingness to take the risk and many others pinned the blame on the player himself.
There is little doubt that he has the raw ability to perform. He has a decent amount of pace, is quite strong for his size and has a very good shot on him. All the ingredients to be a top striker it would seem. With his ability not being the major issue the attention turns to his attitude. It is no secret that he hasn't settled in the North West and would, by all accounts, welcome a return to the capital, with a loan move to Charlton once rumoured.
When Dougie Freedman took over at Bolton, he too highlighted Sordell's homesickness as a major factor in his performance levels. Now for a professional footballer on decent wages, homesickness isn't something you would think he would suffer from given the amount of free time footballers have these days, so fans then question his overall attitude and commitment.
The frustrating thing is that, at times, he has shown that he is capable of being a good player. His goals against Sunderland and Everton in the cup gave hope that he had turned a corner, but he never really built on these performances and found himself out of the team again.
He is certainly a player who divides opinion. Some have given up on him, while others believe he just needs a bit of confidence to really kick on. With his selection in the England U21 squad for the European championships this summer, it was seen as a good opportunity for him to build his confidence and come into pre-season with some good performances behind him.
Again this has not been the case as England crashed out of the tournament, losing all three matches. During these games Marvin started the first game, in which he was subbed after 68 mins and made a substitute appearance in the 78th min in the final game, sitting out the second game entirely. In those appearances he was used mainly as a wide forward and made little impact.
So instead of getting a player back high on confidence, Marvin returns to pre-season training on the back of another disappointment. Unless Dougie Freedman can instill some confidence in him and get him fired up for the coming season, it may be worth cutting our losses in favour of some new blood.