Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt says that the door is not closed on midfielder Ali Crawford’s future at the club just yet, despite his loan move away from the club this summer.
Crawford joined Bolton back in 2019, and has since gone on to make 38 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring three times.
But despite featuring regularly under Evatt during the first half of last season, Crawford spent the second half of that campaign on loan with Tranmere.
The 30-year-old then failed to make an appearance for Bolton during the first month of this season, something which saw him loaned out to Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone until January on the final day of the summer transfer window.
But despite that, it seems Evatt is not ruling out Crawford playing a part for Bolton again in the future, even if he wants the midfielder to focus on his exploits in Scotland for now.
Speaking about Crawford’s future with the Trotters, Evatt was quoted by The Manchester Evening News as saying: “For now it isn’t about what Ali needs to do for us, it is about what Ali needs to do for himself and that is to get in their team, play regular football, and play to the standards we know he can.
“I know Ali is a good player, a talented player, and he is a good character too. He needs to find himself again. He lost his way a little bit last season, went to Tranmere and it didn’t really work out.
“But for now Ali needs to take care of Ali, get in their team and play the best he can. The door is never closed to anyone.”
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Crawford has less than a year remaining on his current Bolton contract, meaning he could leave the club as a free-agent at the end of this season.
This does feel like a sensible stance for Evatt to take with regards to Crawford’s future at Bolton.
There is a chance that the midfielder will rediscover his best form at St Johnstone, setting him up to be an asset for Bolton in the second half of this season, meaning it wouldn’t make sense to draw the line under his time with Wanderers just yet.
Indeed, Crawford was an important player for Bolton during the early stages of his time with the club, so there is certainly an argument that he could yet have a role to play when he returns to the UniBol.
This therefore, may be something worth keeping an eye on for Bolton fans over the next few months, given Crawford’s form may yet have an influence on how things work out for their side in the second half of the season.