Yannick Bastos fixer Gretar Steinsson in line for Bolton Wanderers role
Updated 10:36am Saturday 1st February 2014 in Sport
FEW, if any Wanderers fans knew the name Yannick Bastos before he cropped up on the club’s radar a fortnight ago.
Football in Luxembourg does not get much press on these shores and only one player from the tiny landlocked country has ever featured in English football.
But a name that Wanderers fans will most certainly recognise was instrumental in convincing the talented young midfielder to put his studies on hold and try his luck at Bolton.
Gretar Steinsson – the Icelandic full-back still so fondly remembered among Whites fans – played the part of negotiator in this particular deal.
Dougie Freedman watched the youngster in action for his amateur club Differdange 03 and saw enough raw talent to invite him over on an 18-month stay, which will start with a spell in the development squad.
The multi-lingual Steinsson then played a pivotal role in speaking with the player and his family and then the club to make the move happen.
And the signs are that the popular former defender could be used again in a similar role to secure untapped resources from around the continent in the future.
Luxembourg sources who have watched Bastos regularly in domestic and European competition for Differdange report favourable on the player, saying he is a quick, right-sided player with good feet, who would suit Wanderers’ counter-attacking style under Freedman.
The challenge now for Wanderers is to get the 20-year-old used to the hurly burly of professional football in England.
Players in Luxembourg train as many hours as those in the Championship, and are paid fairly well, but the game is still regarded as semi-professional as the protagonists also tend to hold down second jobs.
“It is a dream that really came true and I am very proud to be here,” Bastos told the club as his signing was finally confirmed yesterday.
“Dougie Freedman asked to see me which was a wonderful feeling. He is a great manager, so to hear that he likes the way I play is fantastic.
“It is a great opportunity for me.
“I met some of the players briefly and they were all very welcoming. I’m very excited to get going.”