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Scout Report: Tom Thorpe

What can we learn about our season long loan signing Tom Thorpe?

The last deal Bolton Wanderers managed to get over the line on deadline day was that of Rotherham United's young, versatile defender Tom Thrope, on a season long loan deal. Despite having good pedigree, he captained Manchester United's u21s after all, we don't know an awful lot about Thrope, apart from he can basically play in any defensive position and holding midfield, making him great cover for the season.

To find out more about Thrope we talked to Rotherham United fan George Sanders and Bradford City fan Nikhil Vekaria.

George Sanders, @GeorgeyRUFC.

Tom Thorpe is a product of the youth academy at Manchester United. There he captained the under 21s. He also boasts experience playing for the England youth set up. The versatile centre back is capable of also taking on full back and centre defensive midfield roles if necessary.

Personally I have always admired him, I feel like he is very competent when attacking and defending. However, for a reason which slightly bewilders me, Thorpe has never managed to secure a first team spot under any of our managers which he has been under. So far he has made just 8 appearances for us.

Last season we saw him go on loan to Bradford City in an attempt to gain first team football. I had actually hoped he would have a part to play in this season's campaign for us. I am very confident he would do well in the Championship, therefore, I only really have positive words for the 23 year old.

I'm sure he will be a great addition to your squad and will adapt well to whatever position he is needed to play in.

Good luck for this season's campaign!

Nikhil Vekaria, @NikhilVekaria

Tom Thorpe, is formerly a highly rated youngster at Manchester United, their was a fair bit of excitement around Valley Parade last summer when Bradford City were linked with Tom Thorpe, the ex captain of United's under-21s.

Thorpe primarily featured as a central defender for United's youth teams, although he has played regularly in central midfield, including for Phil Parkinson in his loan spell at The Bantams last season. Thorpe has also represented England at every level up to the Under 21s.

He didn't do very much while at Bradford. Thorpe was signed as a short term option for The Bantams in March last year, as the club were on the verge of the play-offs. He featured in two successive wins for the West Yorkshire club, at home to Millwall and in an away trip to Crewe.

However, whilst he didn't play badly for the side, he didn't make that much of a positive impact either. In reality, Thorpe acted as a presence in midfield and offered an aerial threat, although he was always going to drop out of the side when Josh Cullen returned from international duty. He did feature in the play off semi final second leg at The Den, coming on at half time for the injured Cullen. However, he struggled to make much of an impact and it is unlikely that many Bradford fans will be disappointed that we didn't go back in for him.

Thorpe is a strong presence in midfield and can also play at centre back, offering versatility and height to two important positions. He is also a fairly solid option and although he may not set the world alight, he is unlikely to be a liability in those positions. He is strong in the air and can tackle well, meaning that he can be an asset when trying to hold on to a lead or trying to counter act an opposition threat.

Despite Thorpe's defensive strengths, he often struggled to make much of an attacking impact for Bradford and his ball skills at times left a lot to be desired. Coming into the side for the superb Josh Cullen, Thorpe struggled to make a similar impact and although working hard for the team, he had a very different skill set to the West Ham loanee.

As a result, the ball tended to bypass him in midfield, rather than Thorpe setting the tempo and running the game. This led to a slight decrease in creativity coming from midfield, although The Bantams won both games that Thorpe played in 1-0. However, the feeling that he wouldn't make much of an attacking impact was very apparent in the play off second leg at Millwall, when their was an audible disbelief at his half time introduction from the 2000 travelling Bantams.

Despite not being the most exciting or skilful player to watch, his role as a big man worked in the two games and he helped the team seal an all important six points.

In truth however, many City fans will watch the recent performances of 19 year old Danny Devine in midfield and wonder why Thorpe was brought in at all, with Devine looking far more assured and better on the ball in his appearances so far this season, in which he has started every game.

Is he a good signing for Bolton? Well, this question really depends on how Phil Parkinson wants to use the Rotherham loanee. If Thorpe comes into the Bolton side as a regular starter, I would be shocked. I believe that with the talent your squad has at its disposal, you would be far better off using other, more attacking and talented options.

However, as a bit part player who can adequately fill in at centre back or centre midfield in certain games and situations, Thorpe is a good signing. If Parkinson doesn't use him as a first choice player but as someone who can go into certain situations and add height and reliability, he may well turn out to be a good signing. However, if you're expecting the signing of Thorpe to seal your promotion, I'm afraid you may be a little overexcited...