Wanderers have been linked with a move for Jack Iredale, who will be a free agent this summer after turning down a new deal at Cambridge.
The full-back joined the U’s from Carlisle in 2020 and has gone on to make 89 appearances for the club.
Iredale has been an almost ever-present figure in League One this season, impressing at both ends of the pitch.
Ian Evatt is aiming to bolster his squad over the summer as the Whites aim to push for promotion next term.
The move would make sense on paper, with Wanderers currently short of options at left-back after opting not to renew Liam Gordon’s deal.
The Bolton News spoke to Alex Jones, Prost International’s East Anglian football editor, to get the lowdown on Iredale and how he would potentially fit into the Whites’ system.
How did the transfer link come about?
We have known for a while that Jack Iredale was going to be out of contract. He played a really important role in the promotion last season and Cambridge have done well this season to finish 14th.
But it is a lot harder to keep the core of the squad together when you have not achieved something tangible like the promotion or the play-offs.
He was probably the most likely to leave and by October or November, you were looking at him and thinking ‘he is the best player in the team on form, it is going to be difficult to keep him’.
There were hopes Cambridge could tie him down for another year or at least extend it so they could get a fee this summer or next.
We were told two weeks ago there had been offers on the table and he had not responded to them, so the indication was he would be leaving the club and that was confirmed (on Wednesday).
Is Bolton a good fit for Iredale?
He was born in Scotland and then moved to Australia, but his parents live in Lancashire and it is understood he wants to go back up north to be nearer to his family.
He is the most versatile player I think I have seen play for Cambridge. He is a natural left-back and played there pretty much all the time in the promotion season.
He has played as a winger a couple of times and played further forward at Carlisle as well, so it really surprised me this season when he was thrown in at centre-back.
Cambridge had a bit of an injury crisis and were left with two senior centre-backs. They put Iredale in and he played half the season at centre-back, which is incredible for someone who has not really done that.
Bolton can flip between a back three and a back four, which I think suits him really well. I would not necessarily see him as a starting wing-back but I think he is capable of playing that role and covering for Declan John.
He is a very crosser of the ball but his attacking capabilities are a bit hit-and-miss, which might have been influenced by the ankle injury he suffered ironically against Bolton back in February.
I quite like the idea of him in the Bolton system as the left centre-back, who can also get forward when needed. He can be that ball-playing centre-back.
If you give him too much space, he will pick a pass for players like Dapo Afolayan to run onto. He can fit into both systems and I don’t think there are many players who can do that.
It is no secret Evatt is aiming to reach the Championship with Wanderers. Do you think Iredale is good enough to make the step up to that level?
Yes, I do. It is difficult because he had not played in League One before this season. He had been around Scotland and Australia and then moved to Carlisle.
He had a good first season but this has been his breakout season, so that is where there is maybe a little bit of concern.
He has only done it at this level for one season, so is that enough to say he is good enough for the Championship?
But based on this season, he is absolutely capable of it. He is 26 years old and a free transfer, so I do not see a big downside to the deal.
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