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Ian Evatt reveals Xavier Amaechi's 'amazing' gesture to force move

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Ian Evatt reveals Xavier Amaechi's 'amazing' gesture to force move 12742901

Xavier Amaechi took a major pay cut to force through a loan move to Bolton Wanderers this summer, Ian Evatt has revealed.

The exciting Hamburg winger had several offers to return to the UK on loan but committed to the Whites after watching a presentation on Bolton’s style of play created by Evatt and technical performance director Chris Markham.

Amaechi is keen to kickstart his promising career by getting regular games in League One – but still had to sacrifice some of his wages in Germany to make the deal happen.

“We spent all summer speaking to Xav and his representatives, selling the dream, this football club, what we think we can do for him,” Evatt explained to The Bolton News.

“Obviously, he is on a big salary, so we needed Hamburg to play ball. It wasn’t an easy bit of business, and we couldn’t get to what they wanted for him, so to be honest, Xav sacrificed some of his own salary to come and play for us – that’s how much he wanted to play for Bolton Wanderers.

“Credit to him, it’s amazing for a young player to do that. We are extremely lucky to have him because there were a lot of people who wanted him, especially at this level, some big League One teams.

“But we got in there first, I spoke to Xav many times, told him about the club, how I wanted him to play, how I think this team will suit him and showcase his talents. He wanted to be a part of it – and credit to him for taking that leap of faith and coming over to us.

The former Arsenal youngster has been with Hamburg since January 2019 and has represented England at every youth level up to Under-20s.

His move to Germany did not bring the regular football he wanted, however, with a total of 18 games played and five goals scored for his club, and in a loan spell with Karlsruhe.

Evatt explained how the move came about.

“I have been aware of Xav for a good 18 months and obviously Chris, coming from the FA, has a log of players who they feel at England level are extremely talented. That is one of the many benefits of having him with us,” he said.

“Xav moved two years ago for £2.5million to Hamburg – big, big money. And he was on big money as well. He hasn’t had the minutes he’d require at first team level to develop but fair play to him for moving out of his comfort zone at Arsenal, going to a foreign country and trying to improve himself. But now he wants to play regular football.”

Evatt believes Amaechi will prove to be a good bit of business for Wanderers and has refused to rule out the possibility of extending the loan for the second half of the season.

But he also thinks the deal is a feather in the cap for Bolton’s new recruitment strategy, brought in since Markham’s arrival at the start of the year.

“It’s a hell of a signing - and it’s not just down to me, Chris put in a hell of a lot of work on it as well,” he said.

“What we are doing behind the scenes is building a brand. We’ve built a presentation for these young footballers and the big clubs who have star players in their ranks that need regular minutes. It is a big thing for them to entrust their players with League One football teams so we have to almost give a sales pitch. We say ‘this is why I think you need to come to Bolton, this is what we do, here’s the footage to back it up – not just words but the statistics, the data, the analysis, the match clips’.

“All of a sudden you can build trust and Chris has been a huge part of that.”


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