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Holden recalled to Bolton for playoff push

Stuart Holden Bolton (Getty Images)


With two matches remaining, Bolton Wanderers FC are still in the hunt for a place in the Premier League for next season.

Wanting to improve his squad’s depth, Bolton manager Dougie Friedman recalled American international Stuart Holden from Sheffield Wednesday at the end of his month-long loan deal.

Holden made started in all four of his appearances for the Owls during the loan period, though he was substituted before the final whistle in each of the matches. The former Houston Dynamo midfielder failed to record any goals or assists during his time at Wednesday, though he was able to build up his fitness more since coming back from two serious knee injuries in the last three years.

“Bolton are in a play-off spot, they have one or two injuries, and they want him back,” Wednesday manager Dave Jones told The Bolton News. “He’s got better and stronger as his loan has gone on and I would like to thank him for his services and wish him the very best for the future.”

Bolton are currently sitting in sixth place in the Championship, the final spot of the promotional playoffs, and with 66 points they’re just one point above seventh-placed Leicester City. Bolton’s final two matches come first away to league champions Cardiff City before finishing at home against 17th-place Blackpool.

What do you make of this move? Do you see Holden featuring in the final two matches of the season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Good luck to Stu!! As a SWFC supporter,…many thanks for your efforts over the last month. I think it is a great sign that Jones was starting Stu while SWFC was/is battling to avoid relegation.

    The possibility the he can get some more playing time with Bolton in some intense play-off matches is encouraging.

    All the best Stu,…hope to see you and Bolton back in the EPL

      • It’s a great move.

        Ream will be an awful CB wherever he goes, at least by going to Bolton he is getting paid the big bucks to be awful.

      • From what I have seen of him, this is correct. They hyped this kid way too soon, before he’d shown he was deserving. I never saw the focus or determination needed to make it in a top league, or even MLS.

      • Shane, et al.

        arguably Ream actually did “make it” in MLS. He was nearly rookie of the year and was indeed named to the all-star roster. He was talented enough to be scouted by the likes of Arsenal and earn the transfer to Bolton.

        Had he stayed in MLS – and he probably should’ve, but that’s hindsight for you – he’d be starting and in his fourth season.

        As it is, he’s mostly making the game day roster for a Championship team that’s in the hunt for promotion. This suggests that many who are in a better position to judge such things don’t deem him to be particularly “awful”

        I for one, am hoping that Ream gets it sorted and starts playing regularly again.

      • not to mention, the things you say he lacks in focus and determination are bound to improve in his future. he probably was hyped too soon, but to give up on him now would be the same dumb mistake, only in reverse

  2. I know there has been a lot of talk about including Holden in the Gold Cup squad, but I wonder if the best thing for him would be a full preseason with his club. Anyone want to discuss the pros/cons of his potential inclusion, or non-inclusion, in the Gold Cup squad?

  3. Is he being used as a RM or a CM? I actually think his best position is the first — he can hit a cross — but Kinnear used him to fill the DeRo hole and he’s often been used in the middle by coaches since. Bradley’s the one coach who seemed to get how good a wing he could be (albeit off the bench).

  4. It’s positive, for sure. However his minutes at Wednesday were the best thing to happen to him in years. Likely he’s going back to Bolton to warm a seat on the bench. Not sure if this is best.

  5. Whether or not they get promoted and whether or not he even plays in those games, this is a good sign. Frankly Stu deserves nothing but good luck the rest of his career.

    • +1 and it’s a good sign that Bolton want to renew his contract. If there was any evidence that a full comeback was not possible, I doubt they’d be talking contract renewal

  6. I honestly don’t care if Bolton gets promoted, I just want to see Holden back in the lineup. Getting him back into the USMNT mix is all I’m worried about

    • I agree, however I think Holden’s fastest route back in to the USMNT mix is through a return to top form with Bolton in the premiership.
      The best thing about this recall to me is that it is an opportunity to play more competitive matches, which is just what Holden needs. Bolton may have up to five games remaining whereas the Owls only have two.

      • I’m sure it helps, but I’m much more worried about him just playing at this point. If he is at the top of his game and the best player on the team again, I think it will get noticed. The Championship isn’t a terrible league to be in, and it will at least get attention in the UK.

        But mostly I’m just not expecting them to win the playoff even if they do get into it.

      • I see your point, but I just love being able to watch my Yanks on TV in the BPL. It will also help him regain his sharpness that much quicker and help him develop his game overall.

  7. Well, things sound like they’re moving in the right direction. That’s a huge plus for what seems like a great kid.

  8. great, if it means more playing time. i guess, either way, it’s a sign that he’s shown enough improvement to be deemed useful, so that’s cool.


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