It's kind of weird to think that it was just under a year ago that Bolton Wanderers signed Marvin Sordell. The news broke well after transfer deadline day ended despite him being a rumored target of the Trotters for a good portion of the January transfer window.
Since signing for the Trotters some ten-and-a-half months ago, Marvin Sordell has appeared in a grand total of nine games for Bolton, starting only three of those and scoring one goal.
Now, of course, there is a lot of speculation about what goes on behind closed doors and many fans believe that Sordell's attitude has something to do with it. Others, namely Dougie Freedman in the Bolton News, have chalked it up to homesickness with Sordell missing London, where he was born, raised, and played professionally prior to the move north.
"What has happened to the kid is that he's moved up from London and he hasn't been given any game time.
"When that happened he got very down on himself. But we're working very hard with Marvin now because he's very talented and a very good finisher. We just need to get him a bit fitter and he'll get an opportunity here.
"He's homesick. There isn't even a fancy word for it."
The reason Owen Coyle purchased Sordell was for his potential. He had shown in the past that he could do it for both the England U21s and Watford, where he scored eight goals in 25 Championship appearances. Yet, that potential hasn't shown through for Bolton yet.
The question now is do Bolton hedge their bets on Sordell and get rid in this window or do they go all in and hope his potential pushes through?
Dougie thought the reason for Sordell's lack of performances was lack of opportunities yet in the nine games since Dougie Freedman took over, Sordell hasn't made the bench once. Instead, Bolton have opted to go for the on-loan (and arguably more useless) Benik Afobe, although thankfully, that tendency is dying down. Afobe, however, has made the bench in each one of Freedman's appearances and has, in a lot of fans' opinions, done a lot less with the chances afforded to him than Sordell has.
Then, there's this latest rumor coming from the twitter account of talkSPORT Drive time's Adrian Durham. The Twitter account made some claims without naming names. These are the tweets, in order:
Unbelievable good fortune to be on a train sitting opposite a footballer who hasn't a clue who I am. He's on phone to his agent & not happy— talkSPORTDrive (@talkSPORTDrive) December 15, 2012
it would be wrong to name him, don't ask. he wants to go to a London club (not specific), & it's a player I've talked highly of in the past— talkSPORTDrive (@talkSPORTDrive) December 15, 2012
Not a prem player. He's back on the phone..."is that the only option?" he says.....from what Ive picked up I think it's Cardiff who want him— talkSPORTDrive (@talkSPORTDrive) December 15, 2012
Someone has got it right! His phone call has ended but he thinks current club would have an issue letting him go to a club in same division— talkSPORTDrive (@talkSPORTDrive) December 15, 2012
Just as I'm getting off the train he says on the phone: "all I wanna do is play football." I like that— talkSPORTDrive (@talkSPORTDrive) December 15, 2012
It gave me an insight listening to that player. Restored my faith in footballers a bit. At the end of it all he wants to play. That's all.— talkSPORTDrive (@talkSPORTDrive) December 15, 2012
As I mentioned, no names were named but it seems more than obvious to Bolton fans. A non-Premiership footballer that wants to go to London with Cardiff an option. For those that don't remember, Cardiff City and manager Malky MacKay, who was Sordell's manager at Watford, tried to sign Sordell on deadline day before Bolton did.
We head back to the options for Wanderers: do they sell or hold on and hope for a performance? You have to imagine that Dougie Freedman is keen to bring in Glenn Murray, who helmed the attack for Crystal Palace. Murray is 29 years old and the current Championship scoring leader with 18 on the season. A like-for-like swap could really be the best possible option as it would get Sordell his move down to London and Bolton get a striker that knows how to score. That said, Crystal Palace will not let Murray go easily.
What about sending Sordell on loan to another side in order to get experience? Bolton certainly cannot afford to give another championship any sort of helping hand. That would mean that he would have to go on loan to a lower league side. Should Sordell accept that sort of move, it could be good for all parties as it would hopefully boost his confidence and he could come back to Bolton to score some goals
Should Bolton choose to sell him in the next window or two, there seems to be no way that Bolton could recoup the £3.2 million they spent and for that money, is it even worth getting half of it?