Bolton Wanderers announced their first departure of the January transfer window on Wednesday afternoon, as academy graduate Joe Riley joined Bury on a permanent basis.
The news comes as a great shame to many Bolton fans, as I'm sure we all hoped Riley would return from his loan spell at Oxford United and be in contention for a place in the first team. It looked as if it that may have been a possibility as Riley started for the u21 side in Monday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle United, but alas it would be the last time he would wear a Bolton shirt.
The now 23-year-old made his debut for the club at the tender age of 19, in a League Cup tie against Macclesfield town. He then went on to make his Premier League debut in the 5-0 win over Stoke City, in which he received a standing ovation upon his substitution for his excellent performance that day.
Unfortunately, his second game in a Whites shirt, against West Brom, wasn't quite as good. He found playing against an actually winger, in Jerome Thomas, rather difficult and picked up a hamstring injury that would render him sidelined for much of the season.
Injuries continued to hamper Riley's development and he soon found himself down the pecking order, behind the likes of Hayden White and Oscar Threlkeld.
Riley was the first of the new generation of Bolton youngsters to break through into the first team, and it could be argued he paved the way for others to follow in his path.
He's signed a two-and-a-half year deal with local minnows Bury, and will wear the number 23 shirt.
I'm sure you'll all join us in wishing Joe all the best in his career.