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Does Keith Andrews Have a Future at Bolton Wanderers?

In the next instalment of our player-by-player examination of Bolton's current squad Elliot takes a look at the club's veteran midfielder Keith Andrews. Andrews is in the final year of his current deal and it's looking increasingly likely that the Irishman will leave the club.

Andrews in action for Brighton last season.
Andrews in action for Brighton last season.
Bryn Lennon

With three clubs reportedly interested in his signature Keith Andrews' time at the Macron Stadium may be up. We understand that Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday have apparently enquired about him and will compete against his former club, Brighton and Hove Albion, for his services. The transfer figure in question has remained undisclosed although if you consider his age and current contract situation no eyebrows would be raised if he went for nothing.

Andrews, 33, has endured a mixed spell whilst playing for Bolton Wanderers. He arrived in the summer of 2012 and signed a 3 -year deal as one of Owen Coyle's first post-relegation recruits. In theory Andrews was a great signing, although things haven't turned out as we'd hoped. His time at the club has been beset with injury problems, which have prevented him to reaching top form. A re-occurrence of his previous Achilles injury which flared up just a couple of months into the 2012-2013 campaign prevented Andrews playing consistently. Despite this he went on to make 26 appearances in the league scoring 4 times, most notably at London Road where he converted twice from the spot as the Wanderers lost in an enthralling game.

The following season saw Andrews leave the club with what seemed like a bitter taste in his mouth. With Jay Spearing arriving from Liverpool at the start of the season Freedman could not promise Andrews regular football, so as one came in, another went out and Andrews spent the season beside the sea. Andrews was signed by former Barcelona youth coach Óscar García and played a key role. Andrews represented the Seagulls 31 times and he helped them clinch 6th spot on the final day of the season.

In an interview earlier this year with the BBC, Andrews seemed sceptical about returning to play for Freedman:

"Although I have a year left on my contact, I would be very surprised if I was there (for next season)''

As previously stated, a handful of championship teams are still interested in the Irishman's signature so surely we won't see him make an appearance in the new macron shirt?

Should he return? In support, Andrews is very accomplished and experienced. If he can become a key player for a team who are currently substantially better than us (Brighton) then surely he should be able to feature in our starting 11? Personally I thought that he wasn't bad at all in his debut season and if the circumstances changed I would happily welcome him back, however the cons appear to outweigh the pros.

Andrews isn't the youngest of players as he will turn 34 in September and is only contracted at the club for another year. Like Sordell, we can easily read between the lines and deduce that he has a strained relationship with Freedman. Is Andrews at the point of no return?

It has also been reported that Andrews is on a relatively high weekly-wage. In the club's current financial position is that really sustainable? Andrews is also part of an already over-subscribed midfield which wouldn't allow him to play regular football. Can he still fit into any of Freedman's future plans?

The Irish international has been discussing a severance package with the Whites for the last year as he has tried to wriggle his way out of his contract. Huddersfield Town have been keen to sign him, and have offered him the incentive of the captain's armband in an effort to tempt him to the John Smiths Stadium; However, they can't match the midfielder's considerable salary at Bolton which has left the deal in limbo. Another rumoured destination is Hillsborough, but there has been no official confirmation from either club regarding the rumours.

His final option would be a return to the AMEX stadium as he would look to make his initial loan spell a permanent deal with the Seasiders. The chances of a deal being done looked promising initially. That said, since Andrews' time at the club they've had a change of manager as they appointed the former Liverpool defender and Bayer Leverkusen manager, Sami Hyypiä. It's unknown whether the Finnish manger will rekindle the club's interest in the veteran midfielder, however the Irishman has made it clear to the media that Brighton would be his preferred move.