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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Ricardo Santos will put in good word in bid to land Afolayan & John

Ricardo Santos will put in good word in bid to land Afolayan & John

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ricardo Santos reckons he can have a quiet word with Declan John and Dapo Afolayan to convince them to come back to Wanderers next season.

The big man, who swept the board in Bolton’s end-of-season awards, is confident the pair will return to the UniBol to help the club in League One.

Both players are set to be free agents this summer, although Afolayan has indicated that he will speak to West Ham about the potential of an extended contract in the Premier League before making any final decision.

Santos is keen to keep Evatt’s promotion-winning side together and feels the way the team galvanised in the last few months will count in Wanderers’ stead.

“I want to see them back here in pre-season,” he told The Bolton News. “And I see no reason why they wouldn’t want to come back, the club speaks for itself.

“It’s a big place, we’re promoted, on a high, and they were a big part of it.

“The gaffer wants them to come back in and the boys certainly do as well, so if I have to make a couple of phone calls, I’ll tell them.

“I have said a few times when I have done interviews about the bond in the team – and it really is great. I am not just saying it, the boys really are close.

“Dec and Dapo came in and helped really kick us on in January, that was a big month for us with the quality that came in. Why wouldn’t you enjoy playing for Bolton Wanderers when things are going well like that?”

For Santos, a return to the EFL from non-league Barnet proved a huge success. He was rewarded with a new deal in March and won both Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in the recent in-house awards.

He is convinced, however, that Wanderers can roll-over their fine form into next season and make a real challenge for a double promotion. If that also brings personal plaudits, then so be it.

“I honestly can’t thank people enough for what has been said this season but, for me, it isn’t done. I want to push on now, and I think we all do.

“It’s great personally to get recognised but we did what we set out to do, and that’s get promoted. Next year, it should be the same.

“If we come out confident, stick together, I think we can do it. This team is good enough to play in League One, so there are no excuses.

“It will be different to last year because that was a whole new team. Everyone knows each other now and we’ve clicked, there will be no getting to know you, or the way the gaffer wants to play football.

“That connection should follow us through and I think we can be much, much better.”


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