Bolton Wanderers have confirmed the departure of on-loan winger Thibaud Verlinden who returns to his parent club Stoke City.
The Belgian winger arrived at the club as part of the massive squad overhaul in the summer, as they picked up the pieces of financial ruin that nearly spelt the end of the club’s stay in the EFL, having been handed a 12-point deduction.
Verlinden’s time at Bolton started well with a debut goal against Rotherham United before he continued to impress under Keith Hill, scoring a total of three goals in 17 appearances.
The club have now confirmed that Stoke City have exercised their right to recall him and bring him back to the bet365 Stadium this month. Bolton are currently fighting against relegation to the fourth tier for the first time in their history, and struggling to do so after they were hit with that points deduction.
Speaking to the club’s official site following his departure, Verlinden delivered a fond message about his short spell at the University of Bolton Stadium, stating: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Bolton Wanderers, and I wish the club all the best for the future.
“Not only have I become a better player during my time with the club, but I’ve also become a better person.”
The winger’s return leaves Bolton with a gap to plug in January, with the squad already light after their exodus in the summer. Verlinden now returns to Stoke looking to hit the ground running in the Championship to help them out of a relegation battle.
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It doesn’t come as a surprise to see Stoke recall the 20-year-old as he seems ready to help them out of their current problem and offers them natural width that they have lacked this season.
Whether or not Bolton can replace him with the same level of quality is the issue now, and they face an uphill battle to do so.