Rotherham United boss Paul Warne believes Kieran Sadlier’s move to Bolton Wanderers suits all parties and believes had the forward remained with the Millers getting limited game time then he would not have had the same player on his hands.
The 27-year-old has been on Wanderers’ radar for some time and was a wanted man in the summer, but a move never came to fruition.
Now, though, Ian Evatt has got his man and Sadlier has put pen-to-paper on a two-and-a-half year contract at the University of Bolton Stadium after leaving Rotherham.
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He becomes the sixth signing of the January transfer window for Bolton and follows Dion Charles, Marlon Fossey, Aaron Morley, James Trafford and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to Wanderers.
Sadlier racked up 20 appearances for the Millers this campaign, but was in and out of Warne’s team, particularly when the Yorkshire side shifted to a 3-5-2 formation.
And Warne believes the player wanted more game time which the Millers boss could not guarantee him after the switch in formation and believes if Sadlier had stayed at Rotherham, then he would not have had the same player as before.
The move to Wanderers was driven by Sadlier more than Warne, but he believes the transfer suits all parties.
Speaking to the Rotherham Advertiser, Warne said: “Had I kept him beyond the window and then still played him one game in six, would I have had the same Kieran? I don’t think I would have.
“I’m not saying he would have downed tools, I just don’t if he’d have had the full level of motivation we need to get promoted. Sometimes you can see it in a player’s eyes. ‘Please, I just want to move on and play in a different system.’
“He’s a really good footballer, a really technical player. Just because it doesn’t work here for him doesn’t mean he’s not going to have an amazing career somewhere else.
“It’s just about the game-time. He’s at an age where he needs to play. His attitude has been spot on. He’s always been patient.
“He was always aware of Bolton’s interest in him. It was something he wanted to do, it wasn’t something I wanted to do.
“The longer the season went on and the less game-time he got, the more frustrated he became. I don’t want to host here.
“He didn’t want to play as a wing-back for me. He made that clear. I didn’t sign him as a wing-back but since I signed him we’ve changed system.
“I have no issue with him. I just couldn’t give him the game-time he wanted. The move seemed to suit all parties.”
The player himself is pleased to get the deal over the line and join his new club, especially given the interest shown in him by Wanderers last summer, of which a transfer did not materialize at that time.
And the attacker hopes to get back to the form he showed during his time at Doncaster Rovers in a Bolton shirt, scoring 15 goals in 59 games for Donny, as he aims to join Wanderers on a path back to the Championship.
Sadlier said: “It’s been a long time coming but, honestly, I’m so happy to be here.
“I came here at the start of the season and thought ‘what a great club it is’, with the stadium, the fans and the way they play.
“When they made it aware they wanted me there was no other place I wanted to come. That’s the truth so I’m really happy to be here.
“I knew the interest last summer and I felt at home when I came here. I said that I wanted to come because I wasn’t playing as much there (at Rotherham).
“I wanted to come here and play. I loved what the gaffer was doing, the way he was playing, which suits me, and is one of the main reasons I’ve come here.
“I’ve come to a club I feel like it’s an extremely big club and I just can’t wait to be involved in it.
“Hopefully I can hit the ground running and show what I can do. Playing in a team which is my style of football, I can’t wait to get going.
“I think coming here will really suit me and I can show again what I did at Doncaster in this league.
“I had a good 18 months at Doncaster and really enjoyed it there and performed really well.
“I then had a little taste of the Championship last season, when I had an injury as well, and I think that was my taster and I really want to get back there with this club.
“I’m going to work really hard to do that.
“The club is on the up – getting promotion last year. You only have to look at the stadium and everything around it to know it’s got the potential to go back up again and hopefully we can do that.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.