Cristiano Ronaldo’s extraordinary performance in Sporting Lisbon’s pre-season clash with Manchester United in 2003 is the stuff of legend. After all, Manchester United did not wait around to snap up the blonde-tipped teenager after he tore them apart with step-over after step-over.
And although Tom Eaves may not be challenging for the Ballon d’Or anytime soon, there are distinct similarities between his arrival at Bolton Wanderers in 2010 and Ronaldo’s to United seven years earlier. Honestly.
According to the club’s official website, Bolton jumped at the chance to sign the then-18-year-old forward after he thumped a hat-trick past them in a pre-season encounter with Oldham Athletic.
Yet, in a cruel twist of fate, Eaves scored more goals against the Trotters in that July friendly than he did in six years contracted to the club. Although, in his defence, he did only make five appearances in a nomadic career comprising of loan spells at five different clubs.
Inevitably Eaves was eventually released by Bolton, rocking up at League Two Yeovil Town in the summer on a free. However, if a long-awaited permanent exit was supposed to kick-start the 25-year-old’s career, his first season in Somerset has not exactly gone to plan.
In 35 league games, Eaves has only scored four times and his current goal drought stretches back to December 3. In fact, a number of Yeovil supporters are beginning to lose their patience with demands for Tottenham Hotspur loanee Shayon Harrison to be given a chance increasing.
Therefore, it seems that letting Eaves go will not be giving Bolton any sleepless nights.