It was announced yesterday that 22-year-old midfielder Joe Pritchard has left Bolton in favour of a move to fellow Lancashire side Accrington Stanley on a free transfer.

Pritchard’s move is a great bit of business for Accrington Stanley as they look to build on a reasonably successful campaign but it leaves Wanderers desperately shortchanged.

We already knew that Bolton’s squad would be heavily depleted after one of the worst seasons in the club’s history.

Most of the squad were already out of contract at the end of the season and those players who were still in contract had the right to walk away after not receiving their salary for March and April.

Joe Pritchard becomes the fourth player to officially confirm his departure from the club, along with Josh Vela, Mark Beevers and Pawel Olkowski. The news comes less than 12 months after Pritchard first signed for Wanderers from Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the 2018/19 season.

While Pritchard’s departure was always likely, it’s a shame to see a talented player, who could have a bright future leave for absolutely nothing.

(Photo by Andrew Kearns – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Thanks to Bolton’s troublesome season which culminated in administration, Wanderers’ focus will likely turn toward the club’s youth setup, bringing through young players who are hungry for a chance to prove themselves.

Therefore, it’s a shame that Pritchard, who could have slotted perfectly into the midfield of a young-look Bolton Wanderers side has chosen to move to pastures new.

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