Vela Starting To Prove Freedman Wrong

  • March 10, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/87017

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman says Josh Vela is starting to show why he was once linked with a big-money move to Liverpool.

Vela was the subject of a £1million offer from the Anfield club in the summer of 2011, at the age of just 17, but that was turned down by then Wanderers manager Owen Coyle - who said he wanted to keep the club's best young talents at the Reebok Stadium.

Three years have passed since that offer was made and the 20-year-old has made just 12 first-team appearances for the Trotters - only two of which have come this season, as a result of a number of minor injuries.

With those problems behind him, Vela was named Man of the Match in last week's development squad game against Everton and Freedman says he will quickly rise into first-team consideration if he maintains his current form both in training and on the pitch.

"Josh Vela was the best player on the park on Monday night - he was outstanding," Freedman told The Bolton News.

"When I came through the door everyone told me how wonderful he was but to play at the level I expect, he was nowhere near it. He was complaining about his knee quite a lot but he's changed his lifestyle, and we've had some very frank meetings about what he's got to do on that front.

"He changed his intensity in training and now we're starting to see a young player who you guys knew about but I didn't see when I came here.

"This football club is not going to survive unless we get local talent through the academy, it's as simple as that.

"Yes, we can go and buy non-league players or lower division players for the right prices and once in a while we can buy a huge potential talent, but I think the majority of our players are going to have to come through our system.

"I really want to bring lads like Joe Riley and Josh Vela through. But they have to be ready - they need the right attitude and the right ability."

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