An update has emerged on Stoke midfielder James McClean, regarding Bolton’s interest in his services.
According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, Bolton are considering a swoop for Stoke City utility man James McClean this month.
Nixon claims that Stoke are willing to send the Irishman out on loan, with Bolton and Wigan both eyeing him up as a potential signing.
Potters boss Michael O’Neill has confirmed that the winger is available for clubs to sign. He said:
“James is part of the U23s. He’s available to other clubs but as yet no club has taken up that option as far as I understand.”
Bolton must decide to take up Stoke’s offer and bring McClean in on a season-long loan, assuming the financial element of the deal is within the club’s budget. He is an experienced operator who could come in and add quality and know-how to the squad, which is why he could be an excellent signing.
In terms of his ability, he was able to showcase what he is capable of at times in the Championship last season. He averaged a solid WhoScored rating of 6.72 in 23 appearances, scoring two and assisting three. In the 2019/20 campaign, he averaged an exceptional WhoScored rating of 7.14 and was directly involved in 14 goals – seven goals and seven assists.
This suggests that he still has the talent to make an impact in the second tier, which is why he could be superb in League One as it is one step lower than where he has been playing. Therefore, he could arrive at Bolton and offer real quality on the ball to help push them further up the table.
Evatt could love having a player with his class in possession, but his attitude and work rate is also top drawer. Last year, O’Neill called McClean a ‘whole-hearted’ player, although he admitted that he still needs to learn the tactical side of the game. He said:
“James is such a willing, whole-hearted player, he just at times needs a little bit of guidance.
“But for me, he’s been excellent when you look at the number of goals he assisted and the number he’s scored as well.
“So there’s a lot of positive things in his play, but he maybe needs a bit of help tactically and that’s something we continue to work on.”
This shows that the £20k-per-week beast puts the work in and is willing to grind the hard yards for the team. Evatt would be buzzing to have a player who could make a difference in and out of possession, with his skill and his work rate.
With over 150 Premier League appearances and over 170 appearances in the Championship to his name, McClean could impart his wisdom onto the younger players at the club. He has the experience of playing at a higher level and his know-how could prove crucial in the long run.