KIERAN Sadlier has left Wanderers to sign for Leyton Orient on loan for the rest of the season.

The 28-year-old has linked-up with the League Two leaders with a view to making a permanent move in the summer, should the club get promotion.

Sadlier’s exit may not be the last today, with Will Aimson discussing a move to League One rivals Exeter City, but The Bolton News understands that, as of mid-afternoon, the move is not yet guaranteed to happen.

Sadlier has been a popular figure among Bolton supporters in his 12 months at the UniBol, where he has scored nine times in 45 appearances across all competitions.

His starts have been infrequent, with just one in the league this season, but his versatility has proved an asset for Ian Evatt, who has used him in a variety of positions as a substitute.

Sadlier came to Bolton for regular football, however, after feeling marginalised at his former club Rotherham United, and though he finished out the season playing on the right side of the defence he never managed to hold down one his preferred position up front.

A shift from 4-3-3 to 3-4-1-2 this season left him out of the equation – and many began to forecast that he would leave in January. Interest from Gillingham was played down by the club, however, and with Declan John’s future looking unsure at the start of the month, the probability appeared to have reduced.

Sadlier, whose partner Lydia has had a son, Luca, in November, has a year left on his Bolton contract but with regular football still uncertain, he was open to offers closer to his extended family down south.

Richie Wellens’ Orient – captained by ex-Wanderers midfielder Darren Pratley – have been leading from the front in League Two for most of the season, and are offering him the chance to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Quizzed on Thursday about Sadlier’s future, Ian Evatt said: “If you asked Kieran does he want to play wing-back the answer is probably ‘no’ but he will,” the manager said.

“Kieran is one of those versatile players who gets moved around a lot because he can play in different positions, and it isn’t always the best thing.

“What I will say is that when he has had the opportunity to start games in the forward positions, we haven’t seen what I would like to see.

“Kieran’s best performances for us have been as an impact substitute – and sometimes that isn’t what players want to be.

“There is a trade off there between club, manager and player. How does he get first team football? He needs to be doing X, Y and Z.

“Everyone will have an opinion – and some people will think Kieran should be in the team for the way he impacts games. But for us, we need to see that impact from the start, when he does start, more consistently.

“He is a very talented player and a bit like Dapo, when we signed him we were still 4-3-3. And then we changed to 3-5-2 and he was most affected alongside Dapo.

“It doesn’t mean to say he hasn’t had an impact, or that he won’t continue to have an impact, but for now if he wants to nail down a position in the forward roles we require ‘X, Y and Z’ consistently.

“Everyone knows where they stand, they know where it’s at, and we’ll work hard with them to improve.”