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Why Phil Parkinson And Bolton Missed A Trick With This Dutch Defender

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Why Nick Kuipers Is A Big Miss By Bolton Wanderers

Long term Bolton Wanderers transfer target Nick Kuipers has decided to stay in the Netherlands, joining ADO Den Haag on a four-year deal.

Kuipers was offered a new deal to stay at MVV Maastricht. However, the club he rose through the ranks at failed to secure promotion to the Eredivisie and so he balked at theirs and Bolton’s offers in favour of Den Haag. Kuipers did in fact spend some time with Bolton. The 24-year-old defender was on trial at the club back in 2015, though he was not offered a deal by then boss Neil Lennon.

The 6ft3in centre-back has progressed steadily since signing professional terms with MVV back in 2010. Since then, he has played all of his games in the Netherlands’ second tier; 162 appearances in total with 5 goals across all competitions.

With his contract ending this month, Kuipers will be allowed to join Den Haag on a free transfer and even with salary and bonuses taken into account, he will in time prove to be a huge bargain. Bolton may well rue this missed opportunity, given the task they have in hand – to be competitive in the Championship next season.

Although money is not everything in this sport (no, really!) and market values are fluid and open to question, it must be noted that at present, not a single Bolton player is valued above £1million on Transfermarkt. In terms of their defenders especially, only Derik Osede and Reece Wabara are aged in their mid-20’s and therefore will increase in value.

Not only does this suggest that Bolton’s defence may not be good enough to compete at this higher level, but the knock-on effect is that they have little to sell on in their current squad list. Kuipers would have been a player that, if he had been successful in the Championship, would have provided value in the short term, given his free transfer and better ability.

Looking at Bolton’s defensive line-up currently, as well as the task they have in the forthcoming season in the Championship, they certainly should have done much more to get hold of Kuipers.

Not only was Kuipers on trial at the club in January 2015, but the club thought about making a bid for him in the latest winter transfer window. Not doing so is something they now regret. It’s a victory for ADO Den Haag in the end.