IAN Evatt says new signing Aaron Morley is ready to play first team football at Wanderers.

Despite being just 21 years of age, the Bury-born midfielder arrives at the UniBol with more than 150 league appearances under his belt at Rochdale.

Wanderers are understood to have paid a fee of around £100,000 for his services, with future bonuses due to Dale depending on his success.

Morley, who signed a three-and-a-half year contract, will not be in the squad to face Wycombe tonight but Evatt is confident the youngster is ready to play an immediate part once he is registered.

“This is a young player who is vastly experienced,” he told The Bolton News. “He’s played 150 games and for a young player that’s very good and exceptional. He comes in ready to play and ready to make a difference and he will.”

Wanderers have been looking to boost their midfield options after losing Josh Sheehan for the season to a serious knee injury and then moving Antoni Sarcevic on to Stockport County in October.

“He ticks a lot of boxes,” Evatt said. “I think he’s only 21 and you play that many times, it means you have a lot of ability.

He’s played a lot of games in League One, a lot of games in League Two, and has been very successful with Rochdale.

“He’s a player that fits our type, he’s very good at possession, can build attacks, but most importantly can see a forward pass, can break lines with his passing, can hurt the opposition with his range of passing and will strengthen that midfield department that we know needs strengthening since we lost Sarce and Josh for the season, we’ve always been on the lookout for midfield players and Aaron’s the first one of those to come in and strengthen that department.”

Morley is no stranger to Bolton, either, having come through the club’s ranks as a schoolboy.

He was released in 2017, linking up with the academy at Spotland, but Evatt is delighted to bring him back into the fold.

“Rochdale have a good habit of developing young talent,” he said. “Unfortunately for us he was released at 16 but how many times does that story happen. It’s cost us a few quid to get him back but it’s well worth the money.

“We feel he’s a very exciting young talent and hopefully he can come here and blossom in our team and this is a great place for players to come and develop and it’s a fantastic football club to do so and he’s looking forward to it and we’re looking forward to working with him.”