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ON THIS DAY: Elmander quits Wanderers and Laville dealt injury blow

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
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We delved into the archives to find out what was happening at Bolton Wanderers on this day in history.

2011: OWEN Coyle admitted defeat in his efforts to keep club record signing Johan Elmander at Wanderers.

Turkish giants Galatasaray announced they had reached an “understanding in principle” to sign the Swedish striker on a three-year deal at the end of his Bolton contract.

Though Coyle maintained his own relationship with the striker was still strong – it soon emerged discussions between the player and the club had broken down much earlier in the year.

Elmander stormed out on the final day of the season after a game against Manchester City insisting “the truth” would come out.

Wanderers had spent a record £8.2million up front for the striker from French club Toulouse, with Norwegian Daniel Braaten also going in the opposite direction. Including wages, it was estimated that Elmander’s three full seasons – in which he played 108 times for the club and scored 22 goals - had cost £17m.

"Galatasaray have announced on their website they have agreed something with Johan," Coyle said. "I have spoken to Johan and certainly nothing has been signed. That is not to say it won't be signed, maybe in the next couple of weeks but not before Sunday. Do I expect him to leave? In my heart of hearts, yes. These are the things you have to deal with as a manager. I am very comfortable with that.

"I have always felt and always known given the dialogue [the club's chairman] Phil Gartside had with his representative they were probably looking for a new option. I wish Johan well if and when that comes about, because he has worked ever so hard for me in training each and every day. When he has worn that shirt he has given me everything he has got in a number of positions and worked his socks off for the team. He is someone I have a very good relationship with."

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2004: Florent Laville’s battle to save his career took another blow as he was forced to undergo a second knee operation.

The French defender, who had been signed the previous season for £500,000 following a brilliant loan spell, had recovered sufficiently to play in the reserves earlier that May.

But a setback in the recovery forced him back into the surgeon’s hands – and though Sam Allardyce hoped he would recover in time for pre-season, the defender had already played his final game for the club.

Laville spent a few months on loan at Coventry early the following season but was unable to continue playing in England and saw out his career at Bastia, playing alongside another ex-Wanderer in Pierre-Yves Andre.

Meanwhile, Ricardo Gardner – who had also been side-lined for several months with a cruciate ligament injury – was looking forward to making his return for Jamaica against Jay-Jay Okocha’s Nigeria, in a friendly to be stage at Charlton Athletic.

The Jamaican star had flown out to the US for specialist treatment on his knee, which resulted in a quick recovery time and the opportunity to play in the club’s final game of the season against Everton.

"When the injury happened I had a horrible feeling that I would be out for a long time because I'd been through it all before,” he said. Things have turned out well because they could have been a lot worse.

"It was frustrating being unable to play when the team was doing so well. The lads have been fantastic throughout the season and that's why I was so happy to be part of the last game."

1998: Colin Todd returned to his managerial desk with a brief to fight off interest from Everton for prized midfielder Alan Thompson.

Arsenal, Middlesbrough, Tottenham and – tellingly – Aston Villa were also linked with the 24-year-old with tabloid reports claiming as much as £5million was about to change hands.

Quizzed with Everton’s interest, Todd admitted it could be tough to keep hold of the Newcastle-born playmaker.

"Alan Thompson is a very talented player," he said.

"And with Bolton going down if there was a possibility that he was available then Everton would be interested.

"But I should also stress that I don't think Everton would be the only club interested.

"He has proved he is a very gifted midfield player who scores goals and he has proved that, not just this season, but in other seasons as well."

1963: Wanderers won the Manchester Cup for the last time, beating Fourth Division promotion-winners Oldham Athletic 4-1 in the Boundary Park final.

1956: Nat Lofthouse became the first-ever substitute used by England as he replaced Manchester United’s Tommy Taylor and scored twice in a 5-1 victory against Finland in Helsinki.

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