Neil Danns will start the 2014/15 as a Bolton Wanderers player after making his loan move from Leicester City permanent over the summer. The energetic midfielder was one of Bolton's most consistent performers last season and made a total of 33 appearances, scoring 6 goals over two separate loan spells.
Danns came through the FA's school of excellence at Lilleshall before signing as a trainee for local rivals Blackburn Rovers. Between 2000-2004 he only made three appearances for Blackburn and was loaned out to Blackpool, Hartlepool United and Colchester United. It was Colchester who made his loan permanent and Danns enjoyed two successful seasons at Layer Road helping them win promotion to the Championship. He then moved on to Birmingham City who paid £500,000 for his services and Danns again helped his club win promotion, this time to the Premier League. He would only make two Premier League appearances for Birmingham and soon found himself back in the Championship with Crystal Palace. Danns went on to make over one hundred appearances for Palace and played under Dougie Freedman in his time there as the club successfully fought off relegation to League One. After his contract at Palace ended Danns joined Leicester City and after a reasonable first season found himself frozen out and loaned to Bristol City, Huddersfield and finally Bolton.
Having featured in the majority of pre season games, scoring an impressive goal at Rochdale, I would expect Danns to start at Watford on Saturday. His versatility across the midfield will make him an important asset to the squad for the forthcoming season.
Danns was mainly used as a wide player in Freedman's favoured 4-2-3-1 last season but has also featured more centrally in a midfield diamond. His loan signing last season coincided with Bolton getting their first victory when he scored what proved to be the winner at Birmingham. He brings dynamism to a midfield that is generally quite static and is probably Bolton's biggest scoring threat from midfield. Despite this he only managed 6 goals last season and is often wasteful with his shooting, hopefully with a full season under his belt Danns can hit double figures this season.