News From Manchester: ‘Best we’ve watched’ – Ian Evatt explains transfer for new Bolton Wanderers defender Eoin Toal

The 23-year-old became the fourth summer signing at Wanderers this summer when he joined from League of Ireland outfit Derry City. He joined for an undisclosed fee and has joined Evatt's side on a three-year deal.

He was last in action for the Candystripes in their Europa Conference League first qualifying road against Riga. The defender played through the pain for his now former club as they exited the competition 4-0 on aggregate.

The former Northern Ireland under-21 international is not ready to make his Wanderers debut just yet owing to playing with an ankle problem of late, though Evatt said it is not a serious injury. He is due to join in training with the rest of the squad in the coming days.

Evatt has explained the qualities he feels Toal will bring to Wanderers, after the Whites signed Derry's captain. He highlighted several aspects of the defender's abilities and feels he will be a great long-term player for Wanderers.

Evatt told the Manchester Evening News: “He is a young man who has played a lot of mens football and he has played in Europe, so that has been a great learning experience for him. He has been a captain at a young age so he has got a really good character.

“He is a strong leader, strong mentality and also he has attributes we look for in defenders. He can defend in large spaces, one-v-one. He is mobile, athletic, strong, physical.

“But also can handle the ball and progressively pass off both feet. He ticks a lot of boxes. It is going to take some time for him to get used to how we play and what we do, but we think long-term he is going to be a good player for us.”

Wanderers have recruited from the League of Ireland, where they have eyes on the ground. Former striker Eoin Doyle, now playing for St Patrick's Athletic, is combining his time on the pitch for the Dublin club with a scouting role for the Whites.

Evatt says Doyle knows a bit about the new signing. But first and foremost, Wanderers scouted many defenders in their quest for reinforcements this summer, and the Bolton boss believes Toal was the best seen.

The Bolton boss said: “Doyler knows a little bit about him of course, but we have watched many games and many centre-backs. All the ones weve watched I wont bore you with how many we have watched but it has been a lot he was the one who came about the best.”

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