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Bolton Wanderers

Keith Hill confirms Bolton player departure, with another potentially on the way

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Bolton Wanderers manager Keith Hill has revealed that winger Thibaud Verlinden has been recalled by Stoke City ahead of the Potters’ FA Cup clash with Brentford this weekend, and admits he is concerned that Nottingham Forest could do the same with midfielder Liam Bridcutt.

Both Verlinden and Bridcutt joined Bolton on loan until January on the final day of the summer transfer window, and the pair have had both made a significant impact since then. Verlinden has scored three goals in 16 appearances in all competitions for Wanderers this season while Bridcutt – who has been handed the captain’s armband by Hill – has made 12 appearances in total for the Trotters.

Now however, it appears as though Bolton could be forced to do without the duo for the remainder of the campaign.

Speaking to the Bolton News about the situation surrounding Verlinden, Hill said: “I have been informed that Stoke are recalling Thibaud for the FA Cup.

“I am disappointed, of course, but I sort of knew that I wasn’t in control.”

On the issue surrounding Bridcutt, Hill added: “It is the same with Liam Bridcutt. It isn’t my player so it isn’t my say. We brought them in, gave them a home, they have done reasonably well, but they are owned by other clubs. Players find it hard to decide.

“It is something out of my control but we have to address it as and when it happens. It will be difficult but it is not insurmountable.”

Bridcutt limped out of Bolton’s 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury in their final game of 2019, and asked whether that could see the 30-year-old return to the City Ground, Hill continued: “Potentially. Liam is obviously injured but he’s a Nottingham Forest player and we have to do our duty of care.

“I would love him to stay but it’s not a situation that I am in control of, unfortunately.”

Bolton remain bottom of the League One standings following a dramatic 4-3 defeat at home to Burton on New Year’s Day, with Hill’s side next in action when they take on his former club Rochdale at Spotland a week on Saturday.

The Verdict

This would be a big blow for Bolton if it is confirmed.

Both Bridcutt and Verlinden have been hugely impressive for Wanderers since they arrived at the club, and have had big parts to play in helping them to have any chance of survival this season, following that 12 point deduction they received at the start of the campaign.

Losing the duo therefore looks as though it would be a big loss for Bolton, particularly with the pressure it puts on them to go out and find replacements sooner rather than later in the January window.

It will be interesting to see whether these potential recalls lead to Verlinden and Bridcutt being given more game time either with their parent club or with another move elsewhere in the second half of the campaign. If it doesn’t, it could be a decision both players will be left to regret as well.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Keith Hill confirms Bolton player departure, with another potentially on the way

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