Liverpool & Everton Target Impresses on Bolton Debut

  • January 07, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Hopes are high for Bolton academy starlet Luca Connell, who made his senior debut as a late substitute in Saturday's FA Cup victory over Walsall.

Connell, who has been with Wanderers since the age of nine, became the first player born in the 21st century to represent the club when he replaced Luke Murphy in the closing stages at the University of Bolton Stadium, taking up a place in his favoured midfield role - although he is also capable of playing at left-back.

The Republic of Ireland youth international, who doesn't turn 18 until April, earned his place in the matchday squad on merit, according to first-team boss Phil Parkinson, who hopes the youngster can continue his current level of progression.

"He is a good player and trains with the first team often," Parkinson told

"He has done well in the Under 23s and we are very pleased with his progress.

"It is good for our academy to get one of our players onto the bench on merit."

Parkinson's view on the talent of Connell has previously been echoed by under-18 head coach Nicky Spooner, who believes the club have done well to retain the services of a player who has been regularly courted by hometown clubs Liverpool and Everton.

Speaking to The Bolton News last July, Spooner said: "I've known Luca since he was eight years old.

"We signed him at nine, when we could, and he's come all the way through the system.

"He's a Liverpool lad, so we had to get ahead of the bigger clubs over there. We took him in but they've been sniffing at him for years and recognise his talent."

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Southend United 0 0
21 Sunderland 0 0
22 Tranmere Rovers 0 0
23 Wycombe Wanderers 0 0
24 Bolton Wanderers 0 -12
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