After dedicating 17 years of his life to Bolton Wanderers, Josh Vela will be departing the club once his contract runs out next month.
The Salford-born midfielder has become a fan-favourite at the club in recent years. Famed for his work ethic on the pitch, Vela always gave 100% in each game.
Vela’s most prolific season came in 2016/17 when the midfielder scored an impressive 10 goals and played in every single league match to help Bolton earn promotion.
Last season, Vela was not as prominent in the squad, only making 30 league appearances but things really took a turn for the worse during the recent campaign that saw the midfielder play just 19 times in all competitions after an alleged fallout with the manager.
The decline in Wanderers youth product-turned first teamer has been a real shame to watch and mirrors the state of the club as a whole.
But Vela won’t be the only player out of the door this summer. Wanderers could well be left with a meagre playing squad if the club can survive to play in League One next season.
Who’s out of contract at Bolton?
The players currently believed to still be in contract for next season are:
Josh Magennis, Luke Murphy, Jason Lowe, Erhun Oztumer, Remi Matthews, Connor Hall, Yoan Zouma as well as Ben Alnwick and Sammy Ameobi. However, it is not certain whether Alnwick and Ameobi have joined Pawel Olkowski by handing in their notices.
This means that Bolton have a staggering 24 players out of contract this summer (28 if you include loan players).
Big names that could potentially join Vela in leaving the club this summer include David Wheater, Mark Beevers, Gary O’Neil, Craig Noone, Will Buckley, Mark Little and Clayton Donaldson to name just some. Although I don’t think many would complain about seeing the back of Donaldson.
The contract situation at Bolton also leaves a number of youth players, including young starlet Luca Connell, in the lurch.
The complete mess the club finds itself in financially could have a severe impact for years to come and will no doubt mean a huge rebuilding job over the next few seasons, whatever division Bolton find themselves in.
You just have to hope that we still have a club to support once all this is over.