Evatt: Baptiste Will Be Offered a New Contract

  • May 13, 2021 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/a8947

Ian Evatt has confirmed Alex Baptiste will be offered a new deal at Bolton, insisting the decision has been made on merit rather than personal loyalty.

Evatt came under scrutiny when Baptiste arrived at the University of Bolton Stadium last August, some five years after his first spell at the club came to an end following a disappointing period under Dougie Freedman which ultimately saw him play out his contract whilst out on loan at Blackburn Rovers.

The 35-year-old proved his doubters wrong during an outstanding campaign, however, playing 42 times in all competitions as Wanderers won promotion to League One and Evatt believes the veteran defender is more than capable of making the step up despite his advancing years.

"We will be trying to keep Alex, no doubt, and I have had a conversation with him already," Evatt told The Bolton News.

"Mine and Alex's relationship has completely changed in the last year. I have known the lad for 15 years and we have always been quite close, we were part of an amazing group (at Blackpool) which achieved amazing things.

"We don't speak like we used to, it is very much manager and player.

"And the thing he said to me at the final whistle on Saturday with Gillo (Matt Gilks) - and it was emotional, really - was that they had done it for me.

"We have done incredible things together but the biggest motivation for them was that they didn't want to let me down.

"That’s Alex's statement for next season. He wants to be a part of it but he just feels like he doesn't want to let me down and I have told him he never could.

"This is my decision, he has earned it on merit and the way he played.

"So we want to do what we can to keep him because not only has he proved to be a fantastic football player but he's also a fantastic human being and Bolton Wanderers is a better place with him in it."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
14 Charlton Athletic 21 26
15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
18 Lincoln City 20 21
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2020/21 Player of the Year?
56.86% Ricardo Santos
17.79% Matt Gilks
10.64% Alex Baptiste
9.94% Eoin Doyle
2.52% Antoni Sarcevic
1.54% Gethin Jones
0.42% Nathan Delfouneso
0.28% Ryan Delaney