IAN Evatt has high hopes that Xavier Amaechi will continue his stay at Wanderers into the New Year.

Talks have already begun with Hamburg to extend the winger’s loan until the end of the season.

Amaechi broke his metatarsal in pre-season but scored in his first start for the club, helping the Whites to a 2-2 draw against Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

He is currently set to return to Germany in January – but Evatt says he is confident that the former Arsenal wide man will push to stay at the UniBol for the time being.

“I’m very optimistic because there’s a real willingness from the player to stay, he loves it here, he’s enjoying his football,” he told The Bolton News.

“The football club has really looked after him well and he really appreciates that. Even in dark times when he came and suffered a bad injury right at the very start of his career here.

“We mustn’t forget that the boy sacrificed some of his salary to come, so it speaks volumes about how much he wants to be here. I think he does want to continue and we want him here, so let’s hope we can get something done.”

Evatt had been reluctant to push Amaechi took quickly after months on the side-lines but admits he had little option against Cheltenham, with Dapo Afolayan suspended.

“I had no choice,” he said. “There comes a time where all the data and all the looking after him and making sure we don’t break him down goes out the window because it’s the next man up and Xav was the next man up.”

Amaechi was substituted 20 minutes from the end of Saturday’s game, with Evatt admitting he had to protect the winger from running himself into the ground.

“He has been telling me he’s ready,” the manager said. “But I need to see the data, I need to see that backed up with my own eyes that he can physically continue and be repetitive with his effort and his sprinting effort.

“We could all see that he’d fatigued second half, but it’s the nature of the lad when he comes off he’s disappointed and says ‘gaffer, I want to stay on, I’m okay’. Well, you don’t look okay, Xav!

“We have to make the right decisions for him. The last thing we need at the minute is overuse and him breaking down, we need to be careful but as we saw today, he’s a very talented young man and will be great for us for the remainder of the season hopefully if we can come to an agreement with Hamburg.”

Evatt hopes to boost his squad options in January and with MJ Williams being told he will not require surgery on a dislocated shoulder, the squad should start to build up with returning players throughout January.

Being able to pick a fit and firing front line including Amaechi, Afolayan, Elias Kachunga and Eoin Doyle is also a mouth-watering prospect for the Bolton boss.

“We’ve got Bakayoko to come back too,” he said. “We’ve got Gethin missing, MJ missing, Lloyd missing, the list is endless really but when you envisage that squad and that team and that group fully fit and all together, it is really exciting.

“This is going to be a really challenging month for everybody. We are going to have ups and downs, but I think the bigger picture is really bright and positive and that’s what we have to look at.”