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The Greatest BWFC XI - 40 Games & Under

Eddie looks at the best Bolton team who've played 40 games or less for the Whites.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Over the past week, former Bolton Wanderers player Stuart Holden announced his retirement from football (you can read his retirement letter here).

For the majority of Bolton fans, that news was disappointing. I was gutted. I think a lot of fans, although it was very unlikely, had hoped Holden would play at least one more time for Bolton.

Stuart Holden only managed to play 38 games for Bolton, scoring 2 goals. It made me think, what other players have made such a big impact in so few games.

So, here is my greatest Bolton Wanderers XI made up of players who've appeared 40 times or less for Bolton.

GK - Ali Al-Habsi (18 games)

Ali Al-Habsi spent fives seasons with Bolton from 2005 to 2010, making only 18 appearances. Al-Habsi first shone in Bolton's famous 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich, making a string of superb saves from Franck Ribery and Co to ensure Bolton secured the draw. Al-Habsi then played a key part in Bolton staying in the Premier League, playing the last 10 games due to Jussi being out with a long term injury.

LB - Vincent Candela (12 Games)

World Cup and European Championship winner Vincent Candela arrived at The Reebok on loan from AS Roma in 2005, and helped Bolton to reach 6th in the league and the UEFA cup for the first time in the clubs history.

CB - Florent Laville (15 games)

French centre back Florent Laville joined Bolton from Olympique Lyon on loan back in 2003, and was an instant success. He formed a formidable partnership with Wanderers legend Gudni Bergsson and helped Bolton stay in the Premier League in the 2002/2003 season. Laville returned on a permanent basis in the 2003/2004 season, but his Bolton career was ended by a severe leg injury in a game against Middlesbrough in September 2003. Nevertheless, Laville made an everlasting impact, and was voted the 50th Greatest ever Bolton Wanderers player in 2005.

CB - Fernando Hierro (29 Games)

Spain and Real Madrid legend arrived on a free back in 2004. Hierro played 29 games in defence and midfield, playing a key role as Bolton reached 6th in the Premier League. Hierro also received a heroes send off in the final game of the 2004/2005 season against Everton, a moment i'll never forget as a Bolton fan.

RB - Bernard Mendy (21 Games)

Bernard Mendy arrived at Bolton on loan from Paris Saint Germain in 2002 and played 21 times, helping Bolton stay in the Premier League in the 2002/2003 season.

LM - Sasa Curcic (33 Games)

Flamboyant midfielder Sasa Curcic joined Bolton in October 1995 for a fee of £1.5 million, as Bolton looked to stay in the Premier League. However, Bolton only lasted one year in the top division, and Curcic moved on to Aston Villa, for a fee of £4 million. In his season at Burnden Park, Curic scored 7 times in 33 games.

CM - Stuart Holden (38 Games)

Obviously, Holden was going to be in this XI. After joining from MLS side Houston Dynamo in 2010, Holden firmly established himself in the Wanderers midfield alongside Fabrice Muamba. Prior to the injury against Manchester United in 2011, Bolton were sitting in 6th place in the Premier League and had just reached the FA Cup semi-final, after beating Birmingham City in the Quarter-Finals. Holden also scored one of the best goals at the Reebok, a late winner against rivals Blackburn Rovers. Holden's injury is also one of reasons that led to Bolton being relegated in 2012.

CM - Jack Wilshere (14 Games)

The then 18 year old Jack Wilshere joined Bolton back in 2010 on loan from Arsenal. Playing 14 times for the Whites, he looked like a player beyond his years. Wilshere scored once for Bolton, in a 2-1 win against West Ham United at Upton Park. After his loan spell at the Reebok, Wilshere made his England debut, and was named in the PFA team of the year in 2011.

RM - Hidetoshi Nakata (32 Games)

The Japanese David Beckham arrived at The Reebok in 2005 and played 32 times for the Whites. He scored once for Bolton, in a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at the Reebok. After one season at Bolton, Nakata decided to retire at the age of 29.

ST - Jared Borgetti (32 Games)

Mexico's all time leading goalscorer arrived at Bolton in 2005. Borgetti played 32 times for Bolton, scoring 7 goals. Borgetti is perhaps best known for scoring the winner in Bolton's first ever European game, scoring in injury time to ensure Bolton won 2-1 against Bulgarian side Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

ST - Daniel Sturridge (12 Games)

After the arrival of Fernando Torres at Chelsea, Daniel Sturridge move to Bolton on loan, and was an instant success. Sturridge scored a late winner on his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and went on to score 8 times in only 12 games. Sturridge said last year of his Bolton spell: "Bolton was the one to be honest. I’m grateful to Owen Coyle. I’m still indebted to the club and to Owen for everything he has done for me in my career"

Anyone you think i've missed off? Write them in the comments box below.