JOSH Vela will return from his loan spell at Notts County ready to go straight into the Wanderers first-team mix.
That’s the view of Whites under-18s coach David Lee who worked with the 20-year-old Salfordian as he progressed through the ranks.
Vela has made just two appearances for Dougie Freedman this season, in cup ties against Tranmere and Blackpool, with a knee injury restricting his availability.
After returning to full fitness, he recently moved to Meadow Lane in a bid to get more than reserve football.
And his impact helped the struggling Magpies to three successive victories – nine points that edged them away from the League One drop zone before last weekend’s defeat at Brentford.
The move is obviously benefitting Notts County, but Lee is delighted to see Vela also enjoying regular game time – just like another academy graduate, Sanmi Odelusi, who last week extended his stay at MK Dons until the end of the season.
The U18s coach told The Bolton News: “It is nice to see Josh doing well at Notts County.
“Without his injury this season, I am sure he would have had more of an impact in the first team.
“He has struggled to get regular senior football because of that and this loan will do him the world of good.
“It’s a chance for him to prove himself and I have every confidence he will do that and benefit the club when he comes back.
“The loan system is fantastic for younger players like Josh and Sanmi who are out at present. It is tough at that level down the leagues and if these youngsters can do it there, it will give them the hunger to succeed at the Reebok when they return.”
Vela and Odelusi are just two of the graduates from the Eddie Davies academy in and around the first-team picture.
In addition, several of last year’s FA Youth Cup quarter-finalists have progressed to become regulars in the Under-21 development squad.
The conveyor belt continues, too, with notable performances again from the U18s this season.