Joe Riley has joined Bury on a permanent deal, read more
A player I was really excited about seeing this season was Joe Riley. He’d proved his fitness under Michael Appleton, playing pretty much every single Oxford United minute this season.
The right back had shown great potential under Owen Coyle, the former Burnley manager having handed the Salford-born defender his debut while Bolton were in the Premier League.
Bolton Wanderers released the following statement on the official club website:
‘Joe Riley has joined League Two side Bury on a permanent deal.
‘Bolton Wanderers would like to thank Joe for his contributions during his time with the club and wish him the best in his future endeavors.’
The move probably didn’t cost Bury a lot, but may well have freed up some much needed funds for Neil Lennon to spend this month, as he’s grown increasingly frustrated by lack of transfer activity.
Joe Riley’s task of getting into the first team had become harder by the form of stand-in right back Josh Vela and the presence of natural right backs: Kevin McNaughton, Oscar Threlkeld and ‘red card-happy’ Hayden White.
This follows the news of fellow BWFC youngsters, Chris Lester and Connor Wilkinson being linked with moves to Blackpool while Tom Eaves’ future at the Macron is still unknown.
In these cases, I presume that Neil Lennon has just decided that while they may have it in them to make the first team at some point, the short term financial benefits of selling them would sway the balance in the favour of this decision.
We wish Joe all the best, and I’m confident that he’ll impress in League 2, get promoted to League 1 then get a Championship move to Wolves then have a decent season, then get sent out on loan to League 1, then do well there, then sign for a newly relegated Championship side, then play quite well then…..