Aged only 23-years old, David Wheater has been about for quite a while now, breaking through the semi-successful Boro academy at an early age.
Having entertained the England bench a couple of times already, Wheater was once a hot prospect, even touted as a future successor to John Terry as the ‘big man’ centre-back. But since Boro’s relegation in 2009, Wheater has dropped out of the limelight, and failed to reproduce the form that once made him a wanted man.
With just six months on his contract, and Boro unlikely to gain promotion, it looked likely that Wheater would leave on a free. However with interest from several Premier League teams, (including Wolves who the centre-back once played for in a short-lived loan deal), Owen Coyle decided to act and made an offer believed to be in the region of 2.25M.
Whilst Wheater might not be the same player he was three years ago, he is young enough to turn his career around.
His presence at the back would provide much needed competition, with Andy O’Brien leaving the club last week, and the news that the deal does not hinge on Cahill’s future is a welcome bonus.
Given Wheater’s strength and stature, his role may be more suited to partnering Cahill, and Knight will no doubt have to keep one eye over his shoulder.
Whilst the move might not be seen as 'glamorous', it is a step in the right direction. Young, English talent is always welcome at the Reebok, and at a cut-price, it could be another fantastic bargain for the club.
Elsewhere, a deal for Carlos Vela is not dead, but the Whites face stiff competition from around ten clubs according to Arsene Wenger.
Whilst there has been interest from Spain and France, it is believed Wenger would rather the Mexican front-man ply his trade in the Premier League.
Given his history with Owen Coyle, and Jack Wilshere’s successful loan spell at the Reebok last year, we may be near the top of the list.
The one sticking point though will be who can provide Vela with most game time, and whether Bolton can do that, with Elmander, Davies and Klasnic already fighting it out for places up front, is another question, and one that may hinder our chances of bringing the player in.
Bringing in a player of Vela’s quality on loan would never be a bad deal for the club, and if that avenue opens for us, adding a body to the squad can only be a positive. Equally, if we fail to entice him to the club, given the attacking options we already possess, it will not be the biggest loss.
With York City tomorrow, the Wanderers must look to get back to winning ways, the FA Cup is a special competition, and one that Bolton Wanderers have much history in. It has been too long since we’ve had a decent cup run, and whilst finishing in the top ten would be a wonderful achievement for the club, a run into the latter stages of the FA Cup might be the spark that ultimately brings the fans back to the Reebok.
The first few rounds of the cup are often treated with contempt by the fans, but history suggests that a cup run is something Wanderers fans covet- just look at the fond way the cup-runs under Bruce Rioch are spoken about. It might not be as glamorous, but getting on those runs starts tomorrow and we must pass the test.