Bolton Wanderers will be patient and not throw Owen Beck straight into action after his loan move from Liverpool was confirmed in a bid to bring him up to speed with life at the League One club.
The 20-year-old became Bolton's fifth acquisition of the penultimate day of the transfer window as he joined from the Premier League side on loan for the campaign. He had been on loan at Portuguese side Famalicao, but that was cut short so he could join Bolton.
He follows Eoin Toal and Jack Iredale joining on permanent deals from Derry City and Cambridge United this summer. Defender and Beck's team-mate Conor Bradley has joined from Liverpool, while goalkeeper James Trafford has been signed up again from Manchester City.
Beck did not feature for Famalicao and as a result, the young defender is behind where Wanderers need him to be in their fitness tests. It could therefore be a couple of weeks before the prospect is seen in action.
Bolton boss Ian Evatt explained: “Owen has only been with us for a couple of days now and physically we need to get him up to speed. We have a bit of a fitness test we do with all of our players to get a good guide as to where they’re at and Owen is slightly behind where we need him at the moment.
“It’s still very early days and he’s got the whole season and we’ll work with him to get him up to speed and I think he’s going to be a huge player for us this season. But for now if we threw him into the deep end too soon, we could break him or he’s not ready to do himself justice so we need to give him a bit of patience like we’ve done with Eoin Toal, like we’ve done with Jon Bodvarsson when he first came, just kid gloves really for the first week or two just to get him up to speed.”
Evatt was speaking after his side's 3-1 victory over Charlton Athletic. Goals from Conor Bradley, Kieran Lee and George Johnston saw Wanderers come from behind to claim three points after Scott Fraser's opener.
Manchester City loanee James Trafford had an injury scare towards the end and, with no goalkeeper on the bench, Evatt admits he did have his heart in his mouth. But he hopes the problem is not too bad as he felt the margin of victory could have been greater.
He said: “I don’t tend to have goalkeepers on the bench because I don’t like them, I like to have more attacking options. It’s a huge risk and I’ve been pummeled for it for two years, but it’s just the way I see the game that an extra opportunity to have a forward player will probably win you more than we lose in terms of having to replace the goalkeeper.
“Although I did have my heart in my mouth when James went down injured, but hopefully it’s not too bad.
“I’m still frustrated that it was only three because I still think we had more opportunities to score and more moments. We’ve supported them, positive reinforcement with our messaging and they’ve just gained in confidence and belief. They’re doing a lot right and to create those chances, that’s the hardest part.
“We just need to stay cool, calm and collected when we’re finishing them. Today we did that three times but I still think there’s loads more to come.”
Don't miss a thing from the club you love! For all the latest updates on Wanderers , sign up to our free newsletter packed with all the latest news here.