Date: 12th January 2016 at 3:55pm
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Zach Clough, Josh Vela and Mark Davies have all reportedly had offers accepted for them, from Bristol City, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively. It is thought that they could earn the club in excess of 4 million. However, all of the moves have seemed to hit snags for separate reasons and they`ll all be set to play Wednesday tonight.

I like Vela, and I like Davies. However, neither are as special to me as Zach Clough. There are few young talents like him in the country and he has the ability to be as good as he wants to be. The world is at his feet. I`m so proud that our club`s youth setup has managed to nurture such a talent.

His fleeting runs, his tricky feet and his beautifully cushioned, caressed finishes are just a few aspects of his exceptionally broad and exciting range. It can be argued that he`s a little fragile, and strength is something that will come over time to him. That said, not everyone has to be an Akinfenwa- just look at the five time Ballon d`Or winner, Lionel Messi or even one of our best players in recent years, Chung Yong Lee.

Clough first really burst onto our scenes during the summer of 2014 when he scored for the first team in a friendly. He had been a prolific scorer at U18 and U21 level prior to this and it was widely hoped that he`d be given a chance at first team level. He had to wait until the next calendar year for his big break, and boy did he take his opportunity, capping off an outstanding debut with a wonderful finish against our rivals Wigan Athletic.

Injuries came, but he still had a huge impact at first team level, scoring regularly- his brace against Wolves was one of the highlights of the season for me.

His future remains unclear as it is reported that he is unkeen on a move to Bristol City who have had an offer of 2 million (potentially rising to 3) accepted. I have nothing but admiration for Clough for this, too. I know that no player is too big for the club and he may very well have to go as part of a business decision, but it shows how much he loves the club that has brought him up and nurtured him.

With little positivity in recent years, we have had few great players in recent years. Gary Cahill was one, but I think we all knew deep down that he was perhaps a bit too good for us and that he was always going to go on to bigger and better things. Loanees Jack Wilshere, Rodrigo Moreno and Daniel Sturridge all showed incredible raw talent and it was clear that we weren`t going to be able to hold on to them.

I`m incredibly grateful that we have a player of Zach`s ability and he does seem like a gift from God. Tonight may well be his last game, although I hope that if he does go he can find something that suits him better; I think he`s done more than enough for a Premier League move and any club passing on the opportunity to sign him for such a low fee is missing out. 

Hopefully, if tonight does turn out to be his last game, he can make it one to remember for Bolton fans and give us one last gift. Although he`s only been with the first team for a year, he`s made an incredibly impact and I`ll miss him very much and only regret not being able to see more of him in a Bolton shirt.

 

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