Dougie Freedman says Jacob Butterfield returned to Norwich City because he couldn't guarantee the player first-team football at Bolton.
Butterfield returned to Carrow Road on Wednesday, three days before his stay at the Reebok Stadium was scheduled to come to an end.
The 22-year-old endured a mixed time during his loan spell, with half of his eight appearances for the Trotters coming as a substitute.
Speaking prior to Wanderers' FA Cup tie with Sunderland on Saturday, the Wanderers boss said he couldn't guarantee first-team football for the former Barnsley midfielder and that he will only pick players who want to play for the club.
"The kid wanted to play week in, week out and I could not guarantee him that," Freedman told The Bolton News.
"With him not starting as many games, for different reasons, we shook hands and he goes back to Norwich. I just feel right now we need people who want to be here.
"They need to want to stay here. If they don't and they don't want to come and sign - no problem."