WANDERERS did not consider bringing Shola Shoretire back to the club in the summer – but Ian Evatt believes the Manchester United youngster should make a January loan his number one priority.

In 16 appearances for Bolton last season, the England youth international showed only fleeting glimpses of the talent which had briefly pushed him into the first team reckoning at Old Trafford.

Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick used Shoretire sparingly in the Premier League and Europa League, so much was expected of the teenager when he left for Wanderers in January for the first loan spell of his professional career.

Shoretire returns tonight as captain of United’s Under-21s having been linked with a string of clubs over the summer.

Wanderers were one of the teams mentioned in the gossip columns – but Evatt insists he did not come close to signing the youngster for a second time, having gone in a different tactical direction.

“We didn’t try and get him back, simply because the way we have configured the team is slightly different this season,” he told The Bolton News. “We didn’t really want and out-and-out 10, we wanted someone who could play in different positions, like Carlos (Mendes Gomes).

“He is an extremely talented player and I think there were flashes of that for us last season, I’m thinking Charlton away, Peterborough United away, in that type of game he was outstanding.

“But, if anything, he wasn’t consistent enough. He is a young player and that can be the case.

“I think he will go on and have a fantastic career but, for us, it was about needing something slightly different this season. Also, the performance of some of the other players like Kyle (Dempsey), Aaron Morley, Josh Sheehan was in the form of his life, it was difficult for Shola to get in the team.”

United did offer Shoretire up for loan at hone and aboard during the summer but the 19-year-old has remained with the club to play his football in Premier League 2 for the time being.

He played in United’s 4-0 defeat at Bolton last season, playing well enough for Evatt to offer him a loan deal from January onwards. And the Whites boss believes Shoretire should use this year’s competition to put himself in the shop window once again.

“I think with Shola he has been playing in that Under-21s team for quite a few years now and there comes a point where you have out-grown it and you need first team football,” he said.

“It goes for all the players in that age group, the more first team football you can get exposed to, the better it is for your development.

“I think Shola does have to go out again and get some more experience.”

Wanderers will have the option of playing Gethin Jones and George Thomason, who are both suspended for Saturday’s League One game at Port Vale. Eoin Toal will also be available having served his one-game ban.

Evatt is also considering making limited changes to the line-up that drew against Peterborough United in the hope he can secure a result and introduce a few B Team players during the course of match.

Though last season’s meeting ended up as an emphatic victory, the young Reds did offer a few moments of concern in the early stages of the match. And Evatt expects them to once again ask some attacking questions of his side.

“They will be technical, energetic, they will obviously relish coming here,” he said.

“We know Shola well and we know he is a very talented player.

“We will need the right energy and attitude but if we can win the game it does more or less seal our place in the next round, and I want to defend this trophy.

“We will be going all out to win.”