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Marlon Fossey and 13 more of best Bolton Wanderers loan signings from past decade

Clubs up and down the football pyramid make frequent use of the loan system to add temporary additions to their squad and Bolton Wanderers have been no different.

Over the past decade, dozens of players have come through the door at Wanderers from various parent clubs.

Some have made the grade and even been signed permanently by Bolton later on down the line after impressing sufficiently.

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Others have used their time at the club as valuable experience of professional first team football which has helped propel them onto the next step of their careers, while other moves have simply just not worked out, for one reason or another.

Here – in no particular order and far from being definitive – are 10 of the best forays into the loan market which Bolton have made since 2010 – a decade which spanned time in the Premier League, the Championship, League One and League Two.

Let us know in the comments of any signings since 2010 which would make your top 10.

Marlon Fossey

Let’s start this list with a player whose time at Wanderers has unfortunately just come to an end in the form of Fossey.

The wing-back arrived on loan from Fulham at the start of the January transfer window and made a huge impact as Wanderers mounted a charge up the League One table.

The defender played 16 times in the second half of the campaign and notched five assists from right wing-back, as well as scoring once against Oxford United.

The Fulham loanee’s time at the club was cut short after a torn meniscus, but his attacking prowess, energy and crossing abilities ensured he back a fan favourite during his brief time at the club.

With a year left on his deal at Craven Cottage, could he be back at Wanderers next season? Time will tell, but Wanderers are keen to make a deal happen if they can.

Declan John

Bolton Wanderers’ Declan John breaks.

A player who arrived at Wanderers in January 2021 after being frozen out of the first team picture at old side Swansea City.

The defender immediately slotted into the team in the left-back role and was part of a back four that helped Wanderers come from the bottom half of League Two to acheiving automatic promotion.

The Welsh international played 21 times and scored twice in that time, as well as notching an assist.

After being released by the Swans last summer, he joined Wanderers permanently on a three-year deal and has four goals and six assists to his name so far to his name this campaign, playing at left-back and left wing-back in that time.

Dapo Afolayan

Like John, Afolayan arrived in the January transfer window last season and helped propel the club up the League Two table and eventually achieve promotion.

Afolayan played 21 times in the second half of the 2020/21 campaign and notched two assists and scored once, which finally came on the final day of the season as promotion was secured with a 4-1 victory over Crawley Town.

Though it took a while for Afolayan to finally break his Wanderers goalscoring duck, his style of play and ability was there for all to see and after leaving West Ham United, he signed a three-year deal at Bolton last summer.

In his first full season of men’s professional football, he has arguably been Bolton’s best player this campaign and is the club’s top scorer with 13 goals to his name so far.

Peter Kioso

Kioso joined Wanderers towards the end of the extended summer 2020 transfer window on loan for the campaign from Luton Town.

He slotted into the right wing-back role in the team as Gethin Jones moved over to the left flank and scored three goals and made one assist in 14 games for Bolton.

Though Kioso was due to be at Wanderers for the whole campaign, Luton recalled him in the January transfer window and he was later sent out to Northampton Town in League One.

He has since gone on to play in League One for MK Dons, as well as for the Hatters in the Championship this season.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere of Bolton Wanderers celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers at Upton Park on March 6, 2010 in London, England.

A then 18-year-old Wilshere joined the Trotters on loan from Arsenal at the end of January 2010 for the remainder of the 2009/10 season.

The midfielder was a hit at Wanderers, playing a total of 14 games and scoring once in a victory over West Ham United.

The youngster impressed sufficiently that then-Bolton boss Owen Coyle attempted to sign Wilshere on loan again for the following campaign for a further six months.

But then-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was unwilling to do so, but Coyle understood.

He said: “I have to say it looks like Arsenal are going to keep a hold of him, and you can understand why. He is absolutely quality.”

Wilshere departed the Gunners in 2018 after making almost 200 appearances – during which time he spent a season on loan at Bounemouth in an injury-hit career – and later moved on to West Ham for the past two campaigns, as well as making 26 England caps and scoring eight goals for his country.

He is currently at Danish side Aarhus on a deal until the end of the season.

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge of Bolton Wanderers celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Everton at the Reebok Stadium on February 13, 2011.

The forward was loan to Bolton from Chelsea for the second half of the 2010/11 campaign and was an undoubted success.

He scored eight goals in just 12 games for Wanderers, including an injury-time debut winner against Wolves and later become only the sixth player to find the back of the net in their opening four Premier League encounters.

He returned to Chelsea the following season before moving to Liverpool in 2013, where he made 160 appearances and scored 67 times.

He had a short loan spell away from Anfield at West Bromwich Albion and is currently without a club after his contract at Turkish side Trabzonspor was mutually terminated and he is currently serving a four-month worldwide ban for breaching betting rules.

Along with Wilshere’s spell, FourFourTwo rated the move among the top 20 loans made in the Premier League era, in an article in 2017.

The striker is currently Down Under at Australian A-League side Perth Glory.

Craig Dawson

Signed on loan by Dougie Freedman in January 2013 as Bolton sought an immediate return to the Premier League, central defender Dawson joined from parent club West Bromwich Albion.

He went on to play 16 times for Bolton in the second half of that campaign, scoring four goals in the space of three games against Hull City, Peterborough United and Barnsley.

Wanderers just missed out on a play-offs spot on goal difference.

At the end of the season, Dawson returned to the Hawthorns and remained there until last year, making a total of 225 appearances and scoring 16 goals.

He is now at Premier League side West Ham United, following a successful loan spell from Watford

Neil Danns

Rochdale’s Bastien Hery tussles with Bolton’s Neil Danns during the friendly game at Spotland Stadium, Willbutts Lane, Rochdale.

Another signing made by Freedman, Danns played for Bolton in the 2013/14 season from Leicester City.

The midfielder made a total of 35 appearances across the campaign and scored six goals, and led to him signing a permanent deal with Wanderers upon the expiration of his Foxes contract.

He would go on to make a further 81 appearances for the club in a permanent spell, and after a brief spell on loan at Blackpool and three seasons at Bury, he later moved on to League One side Tranmere Rovers.

He has since has spells in non-league at Radcliffe, FC Halifax Town and in the Welsh Premier League with Connah’s Quay Nomads, and is currently at Macclesfield FC.

Joe Mason

With three different loan spells, centre forward Mason had the most separate stretches of time on loan at Wanderers than any other player on this list.

But with 10 goals in 30 games across all three periods during his temporary time at Wanderers from parent club Cardiff City, he can be seen as a success.

One of the highlights of his time at Wanderers was scoring a hat-trick in 24 minutes against Rotherham United to earn his side three points – and in the process becoming the first Bolton player to bag three goals in a games since Fredi Bobic in April 2002.

His loan spell was terminated by mutual agreement in January 2015 and later moved to Wolves.

He has had further loans at Burton Albion, Colorado Rapids, and Portsmouth. Mason was at MK Dons before moving lat summer to Canadian Premier League side Cavalry FC.

Lukas Jutkiewicz

Joining from Middlesbrough at then end of January 2014 for the rest of the season, the striker made his debut the very same day he signed against QPR.

He had a productive time in front of goals during his spell, finding the back of the net seven times in 20 games.

After his loan spell concluded, Jutkiewicz signed a deal with newly promoted Premier League side Burnley.

Following an initial loan spell away from Turf Moor at Birmingham City in the 2016/17 campaign, he joined the Blues permanently and remains there to this day.

Adam Le Fondre

Huddersfield Town’s Terence Kongolo battles with Bolton Wanderers’ Adam Le Fondre during the FA Cup, third round match at the Macron Stadium, Bolton.

The striker first came to Bolton from Cardiff City after being signed by Neil Lennon in January 2015.

He was a hit in his first spell and scored eight goals during the second half of the campaign in 17 games and ending it as the club’s top scorer.

Le Fondre returned to Wanderers again on loan in January 2017 by Phil Parkinson and scored six goals in 19 matches in League One.

The fans’ favourite joined the club on a permanent basis that summer and went on to score a further seven goals in 39 games, before his contract was terminated by mutual consent.

Le Fondre now plays for Australian A-League side Sydney, but has had a loan spell at Mumbai City too.

Jay Spearing

Jay Spearing (R) of Bolton Wanderers and Tom Ince of Derby County battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Derby County at the Macron Stadium on August 8, 2015.

The midfielder left boyhood club Liverpool for a season-long loan at Bolton for the 2012/13 campaign.

And it proved to be a success as he was named the club’s Player of the Season, and received the same accolade from the supporters.

After playing 39 games and scoring twice in that campaign, he made a permanent move from Anfield over the summer of 2013.

Eventually being named Wanderers captain, Spearing went on to play 173 times for Bolton and scored 10 goals before leaving in 2017 after failing to agree fresh terms.

He spent time on loan at Blackburn in 2015, and was then at Blackpool after joining in 2017, before moving to Tranmere Rovers in 2020.

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Sammy Ameobi

Thomas Edwards of Stoke City and Sammy Ameobi of Bolton in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City at Macron Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Bolton, England.

Younger brother of Shola, Sammy Ameobi joined Wanderers on a six-month loan deal in the summer of 2016 after falling out of favour at Newcastle United with then-manager Rafael Benitez.

The winger joined Bolton, who had elder brother Shola on their books the previous campaign.

The flair player turned out 20 times for Bolton and scored twice as he impressed boss Phil Parkinson.

But the Magpies turned down Bolton’s request for the loan to be extended due to unpaid fees and Ameobi returned to Newcastle.

The winger joined Wanderers permanently in the summer of 2017 after his Newcastle contract expired.

He made 67 further appearances and scored eight more goals over the next two years, before leaving in 2019 when his contract was cancelled. He played for Nottingham Forest up until last summer, before moving to Middlesbrough.

Antonee Robinson

Bolton Wanderers’ Antonee Robinson battles with Preston North End’s Alan Browne during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Macron Stadium, Bolton.

The United States international spent the whole of the 2017-18 campaign at Bolton on loan from Premier League side Everton.

After making his league debut against Middlesbrough in September, Robinson was almost ever-present in the Wanderers defence for the rest of the campaign, playing 34 matches across all competitions.

He returned to Everton, before being sent out on loan the following season to Wigan Athletic, with whom he signed a permanent deal with in the summer of 2019.

He was due to move to Italian giants AC Milan in January, but the move did not materialise after a heart issue was identified and Robinson had to undergo medical treatment to fix it.

He moved to Fulham in 2020 after the Latics were relegated from the Championship, having gone into adminstration at the time and suffering a points deduction.