Wanderers have completed a hat-trick of transfer-window moves with the capture of highly-rated midfielder Aaron Morley.
Morley joins Wanderers from near neighbours Rochdale on a three-and-a-half year-contract after signing for an undisclosed fee.
The deal for the 21-year-old – who has started over 100 games for Dale as one of the top young players in the EFL – follows the arrivals of Dion Charles from Accrington Stanley and Marlon Fossey on loan from Fulham to make it a pro-active start to the January window from the Whites.
Bury-born Morley spent time in the Wanderers’ Academy as a youngster, after starting out at Manchester City, before completing his scholarship at Rochdale and progressing to the professional ranks at the Crown Oil Arena.
His first-team debut came as a 16-year-old in October, 2016 and then after featuring several further times at senior level he became a regular in League One during the 2019/20 season.
Morley has barely missed a game since, racking up 121 appearances for Dale as a creative central midfield player, with Wanderers swooping to bring him back to the club for a fee before the end of his existing contract in the summer.
“Thank-you to the board for enabling this to happen. We feel like we’ve got a very good player on our hands,” said Wanderers’ manager Ian Evatt.
“He’s ready to make a difference. He’s not one with an eye on the future. He’s one to come in and make a difference right here, right now, and that’s what we want.
“He’s very experienced for someone so young and played a lot of his games in League One.
“He has huge talent and is very much our type in terms of he can handle the ball, can pass and break lines, has great vision and a great array of passes and we’re looking forward to working with him.
“We’re delighted he’s come back. We’re thankful to get him back and he will develop into a very good player for this football club and a huge asset.”
Morley, who has taken squad number 16, will be eligible for the first time for Saturday’s home game against Ipswich Town.