LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 05: Jay Spearing of Liverpool tackles Mousa Dembele of Fulham leading to his red card during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage on December 5, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
StrAfter a couple of weeks of speculation, Jay Spearing has signed for Bolton Wanders on a year-long loan. Many fans have heard about Spearing from his Liverpool days but have not really had the chance to watch him and see just where his strengths and weaknesses lie. Spearing had made 30 appearances for Liverpool between 2008 and now as well as a further seven for Leicester City in the two months he spent on loan with the Foxes.
Hit the jump for a profile:
Name: Jay Spearing
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
Weight: 156 pounds (70kg)
Strengths: Passion, desire, tenacity, work rate, strength for his size
Weaknesses: Physical size, lack of speed, passing range, not much of an attacking threat
Spearing would fit in well to a 4-5-1 formation at Bolton Wanderers. His distinct work rate means that if an opposition player gets past him, Spearing will do everything in his power to catch up and make that tackle. Unfortunately, he has a history of mistimed tackles, which could be a problem for Bolton. Still, he's a player that will not stop running for as long as he is on.
Spearing is also small. In fact, he's tiny. At 5"6, he's by far the smallest Bolton man in the midfield, with everyone else having at least a few inches on him. This means that Spearing will not be winning too many aerial battles in the center of the park. Usually, players that are sized similarly to Spearing are quick, but that is not the case here. Instead, Jay Spearing packs a lot of strength into his small frame and is able to get around players as well as hold them off.
As mentioned earlier, the 4-5-1 is a tasty prospect because Spearing is a pretty good holding midfielder. His diminished pass range won't be an issue in that scenario because of the sheer number of bodies around him. Ideally, it will be Spearing winning the balls alongside Keith Andrews before they have a chance to reach the (often shaky) defense before getting it out to the wings or up to Mark Davies before getting it to the forwards.
As a loan signing, Spearing looks a good deal of business and offers minimum risk for Bolton Wanderers. Because he was signed before midday on Deadline Day, he is eligible to play for Bolton Wanderers away at Hull City tomorrow.