Bolton Wanderers eye swoop for 23-y/o former West Ham youth

Bolton Wanderers are looking to continue their busy summer with a move for central defender Manny Onariase, according to The Barking and Dagenham Post.

It’s been a busy summer thus far for Ian Evatt’s side, who added Tom White to their bulging ranks last night. They’re hoping to bounce back from the basement division at the first time of asking after successive promotions saw them hit their lowest point since the late eighties.

Onariase joined West Ham at the age of 12 and progressed through the youth ranks, earning his first professional deal in April 2015. However, he opted to leave the club nine months later, joining Brentford. After a sell on loan with Cheltenham Town in League Two, he joined Rotherham United but again struggled at the higher level. He had a short stint back at Whaddon Road, before a loan to Dagenham was made permanent at the start of last season.

In total, the 6ft 2in defender appeared 63 times for the Daggers, scoring twice, but is now a free agent after his one-year deal with the club expired. Evatt, who took Barrow out of the National League, saw first hand how talented the defender was as he appeared against them twice, once in Barrow’s 2-1 win in February in which new Bolton recruit Tom White scored for the eventual champions.

It’s believed there could be opposition for his signature from Leyton Orient, who want to keep the big defender in London to help them push towards a play-off place next season after surviving their first season back in League Two.

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Our View

Onariase is a chunk of a defender with youth on his side and it is little surprise there is interest in him. The West Ham upbringing is very relevant too; they have a great tradition of producing young players who go on to have long careers in the professional game, albeit in the lower divisions. Joe Powell, Marcus Browne and Anthony Scully are a few who have recently impressed in League One and although Onariase has taken a less than conventional route, he could well be the next.

It makes sense to move to Bolton too; they’ll be title challengers next season and a good team doing well is a great environment for a young player with potential to relaunch his career.

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