Bolton Wanderers Under-18s manager David Lee has admitted that he is unsure what the future holds for teenage striker Alex Samizadeh who has been on trial with fellow Championship club Derby County.
The 17-year-old has scored 14 goals in the Professional Development League 2 this season, as well as 3 at Under-21 level and featured in County’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle Under-18s on Saturday.
“Derby County have shown an interest in the player,” Lee told LFE.
“He’s gone down there on a trial basis. Now whether they want to produce the funds to buy that player, who knows?
“Ideally, I want him to stay at the football club because I think he’s an asset, but I think because of the situation of the football club, it’s been taken out of the academy’s hands a little bit. Fingers crossed that he comes back to us because I think he’s a talent.”
LFE understands that Derby – whose academy has been in a recruitment overdrive recently – are undecided about making a firm offer for the Iranian forward, who is in the first year of his apprenticeship with Wanderers.
The Rams recently completed the signing of Luke Thomas from Cheltenham Town, for an undisclosed amount after an initial offer of £30,000 was rejected by the Robins.
They have also completed deals for Lewis Walker, the son of former England defender, Des who has joined them from Ilkeston Town and secured the signatures of Swindon Town duo Jayden Bogle and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, who will join the club as apprentices this summer.
The Bolton manager, Neil Lennon confirmed that Samizadeh has turned down the offer of a professional deal at the Macron stadium. He said, “We would get compensation I would imagine, and we did offer him a contract a month or two ago but that got turned down.”
Meanwhile, Lee confirmed that the club’s Under-18 captain Alex Honeyball has joined Northern Premier League Division One North side Burscough on loan to gain senior experience.
“He’s been a regular in the Under-18s and not quite touched on the Under-21s development squad yet, so to bridge that gap we’ve sent him out to Burscough, which is real man’s football,” Lee said.
“We believe it’s a step below what 21s level play at, but it’s competitive, so it’s a test for him to see if he can actually deal with that situation.
“If he comes back and has dealt with it, then hopefully we can get that transition from Under-18s to Burscough to Under-21s football in part of his development,” he added.