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Bolton loans U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden to Sheffield Wednesday

Mar 28, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT

Holden-Bolton 2

Big news this morning on U.S. international Stuart Holden, whose ongoing efforts to fight past injury and get his career moving again just took a fascinating turn.

Bolton announced via Twitter today that Holden has joined second-tier club Sheffield Wednesday.  The loan deal lasts about a month, set to expire on April 24.

Holden has seen only sporadic action since getting back on the field for Bolton in January; his original injury traces back to March of 2011.

The two-way U.S. man got into a reserve match for Bolton back in early January. Not long afterward Bolton used Holden in an FA Cup contest as the Wanderers won over Sunderland. And then in late February he climbed a significant rung on the comeback ladder by getting into a league match for the first time in almost two years.

But regular work has been difficult to come by; Bolton FC is peddling mightily to get into the playoffs for promotion – most certainly a lucrative one – into the venerable Premiership.

Sheffield Wednesday is in fight of  its own, currently one spot from the drop zone into third-tier soccer in England.


Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones is clearly happy to have use of Holden, and could put him on the field as early as Saturday in a match against Barnsley. What Jones told BBC Radio Sheffield: “He just wants to get going again, that is the most important thing to him…. He’s quality on the ball, he’s got an eye for a goal and if hadn’t had the injuries he’s had then we wouldn’t have been able to get him.”

  1. couchtoast - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    This is interesting on so many levels. First, this deal suggests that Bolton don’t see Holden as someone who can contribute now to their chase for a spot in the promotion tournament. But on the flip side, it also suggests that they desperately want him to get on the field to help his return to full fitness. Sheffield Wednesday must be making some promises to Bolton that Stu will see the field for them.

    The other interesting part of this is comments made by Freeman earlier this year about wanting to take it really slowly with Holden. In January, they seemed pretty content to let him play sparingly for the rest of the season. So what changed? Was it actually Holden who pushed for the loan? He may have done so for two reasons. First, Holden may have felt he was ready to play more but Freeman still wanted to take it slow. Holden may have felt this was hindering his rehab and so asked for the move. The other reason would be because Holden wanted time on the pitch to showcase himself for potential suitors in the offseason. I know Bolton have said they want to extend Stu’s contract and I know that Holden feels loyalty to Bolton for how well they have treated him, but this is still a business and Holden is coming up on a very important year. If Holden thinks that time with SW will potentially catch the eye of a lower level premier league side, then he has to make this move. I’m sure he is desperate to be a part of Brazil 2014 and I think he’ll do whatever he has to in order to increase his chances of catching Klinsmann’s eye. And to be fair, his best chance would probably be if be latched on with an EPL team for next season. It’s uncertain whether Bolton will move up, so he needs to hedge his bets a little.

    • joeyt360 - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Well, Bolton sees it as a Catch-22. He needs minutes in order to be able to contribute. . . but they can’t give him the minutes until he can already contribute.

  2. schmutzdeck - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    The question is was Freedman reluctant to work Stu in because he didn’t want to break up a good thing on the field or did he really just want to take it very slow with Stu?

    If they really were interested in extending Stu you have to think it would be in everyone’s best interests to see him play some. And Obviously Stu would like to stake a claim for the Gold Cup squad.

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