James Trafford is back.
Wanderers are delighted to confirm that the goalkeeper is heading back to the club after signing on a season-long loan from Premier League champions Manchester City.
The deal means a return to the Whites for Trafford, who enjoyed a highly successful loan spell at the University of Bolton Stadium in the second half of last season.
The 19-year-old made 22 appearances for Ian Evatt’s side and kept seven clean sheets – including a club-record tally of four in his first four appearances – as Wanderers ended the campaign as one of the form teams of League One.
Evatt’s men lost just three times in their final 22 games from mid-January onwards, with Trafford playing a key role in a ninth-place finish and also becoming a firm favourite with the fans.
The Cumbria-born keeper made his England U21 debut last weekend in a 5-0 win over Kosovo and his return to Wanderers for the 2022/23 campaign is another early boost ahead of the new season after the capture of defender Jack Iredale and captain Ricardo Almeida Santos’ commitment to a new long-term deal.
“We’re delighted Traff is going to be back with us and we’re grateful to Manchester City for allowing him to return for a second spell,” said Wanderers’ boss Evatt.
“He did really well for us last season as part of our defensive unit and quickly became a key part of the group.
“We’re looking forward to working with him again next season.
“He’s a young goalkeeper who’s still learning and who will only get better.
“He’s another important signing for us, who already knows how we work, and I know one which will be popular with the supporters as well.”
Trafford’s loan signing completes another key bit of summer business for Wanderers, who have previously secured the services of the sought-after Iredale and defensive leader Santos on a three-year deal as they also look to add further to the squad which returns for the start of pre-season training on Friday.
Trafford will then re-join the Whites on their return from a week-long training camp in Portugal after a short break following his international commitments with England.