21 June 2007

Guthrie loaned to Bolton

Well, I spoke a little too soon. It appears there has a bit of transfer business.

Of course, though, it’s the wrong end.

News today is that Danny Guthrie will spend next season on loan to Bolton. This is excellent news for Guthrie, Liverpool, and Bolton.

Guthrie was always going to find chances very limited in Liverpool’s first team. He’s normally a central midfielder, and there’s Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Sissoko, and Lucas ahead of him in that queue. The few chances he got in the Carling Cup and League, mainly as a substitute, he’s spent just as much if not more time on the right wing as in the center. No matter how well regarded he is at Anfield, he’s not yet good enough to get the time he needs to develop, especially in his preferred position.

However, at Bolton, he should get more of that time. And in Sammy Lee, he’ll not only have a manager who gets on very well with the players, he’ll have a manager who knows what it takes to make it at Liverpool, as Lee worked his way up from a trainee to Liverpool’s first team, despite his size and the players in front of him.

And, unlike Guthrie’s loan at Southampton for the latter half of last season, he’ll get this time and experience in the Premiership, which hopefully will equip him even more for what’s to come when he returns to Liverpool. And if he does progress, and does look the business, it's not as if he was sold outright, although admittedly I'll be very surprised if he becomes a regular for Liverpool.

I’m hard-pressed to think of a better situation for Guthrie, even though I don’t believe Bolton will have the success next season that they’ve had in previous years under Allardyce. This loan can only be a good thing for all parties involved, and it’s rare you can say that.

Good luck Danny.

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