Bolton made two more signings today as Ian Evatt stepped up his rebuilding of the squad ahead of next season.
Goalkeeper Billy Crellin comes in on a season-long loan from Fleetwood, those last four or five words one I’d never thought I’d type, while Portuguese centre-back Ricardo Santos joins after leaving National League side Barnet.
Neither name was a massive surprise as the more eagle-eyed observers have spotted their involvement in recent days, including during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Atherton Calls in whatever you would call one step down from a friendly.
Santos has played in the lower reaches of English league football for his whole career, and had spent the last few years at Barnet having signed from Peterborough for £100,000. Injuries haven’t helped him, especially as Barnet dropped out of the EFL, but he seems have got over that for the moment at least, and was only recently a standout performer in Barnet’s playoff win at Yeovil, although they would then lose their semi-final to Notts County. It’s a case of whether he can take his second chance of League football.
At 6ft6, he provides the physical element needed at the back, regardless of how much Evatt wants to play. “He is a player I have admired for a while. He is 6ft 6ins tall but is extremely quick and very good with the ball at his feet. Ricardo has all the attributes required to be an outstanding centre back for this football club.”
Crellin is an England youth international, at age 20, it will be interesting to see whether he has been signed as a number one or we’ll see another keeper come in. He has only played 21 league games since 2018, and only five of those have come in the EFL, but Fleetwood boss Joey Barton played him in the FA Cup first round game at Barnet last season (where Crellin kept a clean sheet), wanting to give him exposure. and would probably expect him to play for us.
”Billy has a fantastic pedigree, being an England U20 goalkeeper, and we are delighted that he has joined us on loan from Fleetwood”, Evatt told the official site. “He is the modern day goalkeeper who is very agile, great with the ball at his feet and commands his area well. Billy comes to the club highly recommended.”