Bolton Wanderers have had to endure one of the toughest seasons in their long prestigious history, with the Trotters currently sitting bottom of the League One standings, which is largely due to the club being given a 12-point deduction prior to the start of the season because of their entry into administration.
Time has passed since then, with Wanderers returning to some form of normality with the appointment of experienced Football League manager Keith Hill after their former boss, Phil Parkinson, and his staff walked away from their roles following a turbulent couple of months for the Lancashire based outfit.
With Hill having got his feet under the table, Bolton have gone about the frantic process of recruiting players before the September Football League deadline, with the Trotters bringing in a total of nine new players on deadline day, including the loan signing of Stoke City youngster Thibaud Verlinden, who has signed on a deal until January with the League One club.
With the tricky winger proving to be a useful addition so far, we took a look at THREE reasons why this signing will prove to be a real coup for Bolton….
Experience beyond his years
Despite only being 20 years of age, Verlinden has already made 45 appearances in his club career, with the Stoke City youngster having turned out for Stoke City on five occasions in the Championship last term.
Whilst possessing a healthy record at club level in terms of games played, Verlinden has also turned out for Belgium’s under 19 side, with the Brugge born winger given 12 caps for his country thus far.
All of that is good experience that will help to benefit a young squad that is severely lacking in that department.
Direct style of play
Verlinden has displayed good attacking intent since arriving through the door at the Macron Stadium, with the young Belgian having averaged three shots per game, whilst also contributing one goal in two games this season and an average of 3.5 dribbles per game, which will no doubt be seen as positive by both manager and fans alike.
It is these stats which have put Verlinden top of WhoScored.com’s Bolton player rating system for attacking statistics this season, with the wide man recording an average rating of 6.91 so far this season.
Lastly, Verlinden is capable of playing in a number of positions across the attacking end of the field, with the former St Pauli player having played on both the left and right side, as well as operating as a makeshift centre forward.
Whilst the young Belgian has also operated in the number ten role on a couple of occasions for the Stoke’s under 23 side, a position from which he scored one goal in two outings for his side. It is this versatility that will prove useful for Wanderers manager Keith Hill, with the former Rochdale boss so far having deployed the winger on the left.