Bolton Wanderers starlet Luca Connell has emerged into the first-team under Phil Parkinson over the course of a difficult season, catching the eyes of a number of clubs along the way.
Premier League sides including Brighton, Wolves and Everton have all been credited with interest in Bolton Wanderers starlet Connell, with Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United also reportedly scouting him in recent weeks.
The youngster is yet to pen a professional deal with the club despite breaking into the first-team and has been unwilling to do so until the club’s ownership situation was sorted. Now, however, with the sale of the club to Laurence Bassini agreed, contract talks could commence soon.
Speaking to The Bolton News, Parkinson provided an update on Connell’s contract situation, adding that he understands the delay in talks over a new deal.
“The last dialogue I had with Luca’s agent he said if the club got new ownership and it was in a stable position that Luca and his family would love him to sit down and talk to us about a contract,” Parkinson said.
“But we haven’t been able to get to that situation and so you can probably understand them sitting back and waiting.”
“He has had that taste of first-team football,” the Bolton boss added.
“Hopefully he will stay with Bolton but if he does move on I hope it’s somewhere he will play because I always think it’s difficult when you have been in and around it to take a step back.”
Parkinson went on to compare the youngster to former Bolton Wanderers starlet Rob Holding, who has since gone on to make 60 appearances for Premier League side Arsenal.
“He’s a mature kind of lad, his approach to the game. A few years ago when I came we had one similar – Rob Holding – who had been a shining light in a difficult season.
“Luca may not have played as many games as Rob but he has certainly shown a lot of quality.
“Luca is going to be a good player,” he said. “That was a tough game (the 4-0 defeat to Derby County) for him because, defensively, in the centre of midfield against teams when you don’t see a lot of the ball, you have got to deal with people making those runs around you and the communication has got to be spot on.
“It’s a different type of problem that you’d get playing midfield in an Under-18s game and it’s a big learning curve for him.”
Since breaking into Parkinson’s first-team plans in 2019, the 18-year-old defensive midfielder has played 11 times, providing one assist along the way.