It’s A Done Deal As Captain Commits

Wanderers’ captain Ricardo Almeida Santos has signed a new long-term contract to commit himself to the Whites.

Santos has agreed a three-year deal to keep him at the University of Bolton Stadium until June, 2025.

In a major show of intent from the club and the player, Wanderers are delighted to have secured the future of one of their top performers and major assets.

Santos, who joined Wanderers in August, 2020, had a year of his existing contract to run.

But the Whites were determined to ward off attention from elsewhere and reward the central defender for his outstanding form in a Wanderers’ shirt.

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And with the 26-year-old penning a new deal at the club, manager Ian Evatt has completed one of his key bits of business ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

“I think it’s as important as any signing we make this summer,” said Evatt.

“He’s been a massive part of my journey here and this club moving forwards.

“Massive thanks to Sharon and the board for helping us with it.

“The one thing we’re starting to do now is develop assets on the football pitch and Rico is one of those.

“There’s been lots of interest (in him) but it shows that we mean business, we are doing the right things and can keep our best players. And Rico is definitely one of those.

“The true value of players is how easy they are to replace and, for me, Rico in this team is irreplaceable; the way he defends and his attributes with and without the ball are top class and really important for the way we want to play.

“It’s a big bit of business and I’m delighted.”

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Santos, signed by Evatt from National League outfit Barnet following a previous spell with Peterborough United, has made 91 appearances in two seasons for the Whites.

Player of the Year as Wanderers won promotion from League Two last season, Santos took League One by storm in 2021/22 as one of the major driving forces behind the Whites’ top-10 finish.

Made Wanderers’ captain last October and chosen by his team-mates as their Player of the Year, Santos missed the final five games of the campaign through injury but will be back fit and well to lead Evatt’s side in a renewed challenge next season.

The signing of Santos’ new deal follows the capture earlier this month of left-sided defender Jack Iredale as Wanderers – who remain keen to strengthen their squad further – underline their ambition to keep moving forwards on and off the pitch.

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