Name: Dorian Dervite
Squad Number: 14
Contract Expires: July 2017
Brought to the club this summer to provide competition to the current crop of Bolton Wanderers centre backs, French-man Dervite appears to be an astute signing especially given the fact that he has been recruited on a free transfer. He has featured in the majority of the pre-season games so far both on the Scandinavian tour and also the domestic games. Having seen a couple of his performances in pre-season he looked assured alongside Matt Mills at Tranmere but less so as the right sided centre half in a new look back three at Port Vale. Dervite looks comfortable in possession, more so than Mills or Wheater, and should fit the style that Freedman wants to establish at Bolton with the ball being played out from the defence into midfield. He also appears to have the stature to deal with the physical demands of the championship whilst also being nimble enough on his feet to deal with some of the smaller nippier strikers he will face.
Dervite came through the youth system at French club Lille before moving to Spurs for £250,000 in 2006. He soon established himself in the reserve team but never really made the breakthrough into the first team at White Hart Lane with only one first team appearance to his name against Port Vale in the League cup. In 2009 he was loaned out to Southend United and played a big part in their push for the league two play offs, they fell just short but Dervite impressed and was voted as runner up in Southend’s player of the year award. It was at Roots Hall were Dervite caught the eye of our current manager who was winding down his own playing career. Despite this successful loan spell he was moved on by Spurs in 2010 and signed for Villarreal in Spain. Again he was unable to break into the first team there and made 23 appearances for the B team. His time at Villarreal came to an end in 2012 and Dervite moved back to London this time with Charlton Athletic who had just won promotion back to the Championship. It was to be a successful season for Dervite who featured 30 times in the Championship as Charlton finished 9th. Last season was more of a struggle for Charlton who were involved in a relegation battle for most of the season but Dervite still made 40 appearances and was widely regarded as one of Charlton’s better performers as they avoided the drop back into League One. Dougie Freedman was quick to move for Dervite once his contract at Charlton expired at the end of the 2013/14 campaign and he signed a 3 year contract at Bolton taking him up to the end of the 2016/2017 season.
By signing Dervite Bolton have got a tried and tested Championship performer and at the age of 26 he has potential sell on value should he not quite make the first team on a regular basis. With four solid centre back options, Mills, Ream, Wheater and Dervite Bolton now look to have a number of good options in this position for the first time in years.
Looking at the line up from the recent friendly against Vitesse I think it’s clear that Freedman plans to use Mills alongside Ream to start the season at Watford with Dervite likely on the bench. However I would expect him to perhaps feature in the League cup game against Bury in midweek. Longer term Dervite may have to be patient for regular football and establish himself ahead of Mills and Ream as a regular choice at centre half. However with the manager’s preference for rotating his squad he may get more chances to impress than might be expected.