OF all the signings Wanderers have made since the end of last season, Will Buckley remains the one which most interests me.

I tend to be too wrapped up in all things Bolton to give opposition players too much thought during a regular season. Yet every time we came across the midfielder in a Brighton shirt, I’d never fail to be impressed.

It probably helped that in the build up to each meeting I’d lob in the line about him being rejected as a teenager – but Buckley’s movement and energy on either side of Albion’s forward line always made me take notice.

Goodness knows where the last few years have gone because Buckley’s Sunderland career completely passed me by.

I know he had a good start under Gus Poyet but his various loan spells and injuries didn’t register and so it came as a surprise to me he arrived at Wanderers this summer needing to prove himself all over again.

My only reservation was where he would fit in Parkinson’s plan.

I’d always regarded Buckley as someone happier in the wide positions but by no means a wing-back. And so with Wanderers favouring 3-5-2 over the summer it was hard to see where his best position would lie.

I think I got my answer on Wednesday night at Crewe.

Buckley played in a fairly central position, with one holding midfielder, and looked right at home. I sense Parkinson would like to play him further forward, perhaps with the extra security of two sitting players behind him, but Gresty Road was proof that good players find their place in any system.

I’m told Buckley got through more high intensity running that anyone else in the Bolton team and some of his touches in the middle of the park were pure class.

Perhaps it was the couple of years in the Wearside wilderness that meant his signing was not given quite the same fanfare as say, Sammy Ameobi or Adam Armstrong, but I think in the long run Buckley could be the one which makes the biggest difference.

It was great to see young Jack Earing play so well alongside Buckley and Darren Pratley on Wednesday night, giving yet more proof Jimmy Phillips and his coaches are doing a fine job at Lostock.

It was a very mature performance against a Crewe side with much more physicality than teams I have seen in that neck of the woods in the last few years.

I do feel for Jeff King, Alex Perry and Conor Hall, who should – in my opinion – have been able to feature in the Carabao Cup without it impacting upon the club’s embargo quota.

The EFL have preached about opportunity and raised the number of required home-grown players in a match-day squad, all of which is good news for the game. But the restrictions Wanderers have operated within for nearly 600 days now have impacted upon some of the club’s young talent, no question.

I long for the day I don’t have to type the word ‘embargo’ and appreciate every effort is being made to get it shifted. But while that work continues, I just hope there are no further obstacles placed in the way and the players mentioned manage to get a loan club.

Understanding what can and can’t be done in embargo requires a degree in astrophysics and a lot of patience. It also underlines just what a magnificent achievement is was for Phil Parkinson to lead the club out of League One last season.

Wanderers cannot pay fees, cannot pay loan fees and are restricted in the salary they can offer. It really has been a shallow pool from which they can fish. Yet Parkinson has pulled off a few big catches like Buckley and the mood from within the club is that it might not be the last.

It appears the Whites will need leniency from the EFL to allow for injuries to Sammy Ameobi, Josh Vela and David Wheater. But in my opinion, they are due a bit of leeway considering the step up in class they are being asked to make.