EPL: Bolton Wanderers Sign Swansea City's Darren Pratley to Four Year Contract

Sean BabcockCorrespondent IIJuly 1, 2011

The BBC has confirmed today that the Bolton Wanderers have signed Swansea City star midfielder Darren Pratley to a four-year contract, adding a renowned talent to their roster, while leaving the Swans swimming.

The signing comes at the heels of recent statements from Swansea City, particularly from Swans defender Ashley Williams, insisting that the first Welsh club in Premier League history would not change or alter their playing style against their new top-tier opponents. Such opinions were given credit when Swansea recently rejected a Newcastle United bid for defender Neil Taylor, stating simply "he has an important role to play at this club."

But if Taylor was a key player in Swansea's road to success, then Pratley was even more so, making 199 appearances for the Swans in the past five seasons and seeing them through to two promotions during his stay. It's little wonder that he caught the eye of the Welsh club's new Premier League rivals.

Following their most recent promotion in dramatic style at Wembley Stadium (a 4-2 victory over Reading in the playoff final), Pratley's contract with the Swans came to an end.  Despite their best efforts, Swansea City could not preserve the key element of their squad by persuading Pratley to stay.

"A number of clubs were interested in him and we are pleased to have secured his services," Bolton manager Owen Coyle told the BBC. "We're delighted to have Darren here."

While Pratley could be the spark Bolton need to improve on their 14th place season in 2010-11, the Swans are left wondering who in the world could fill such big shoes.

Related

    Report: Arsenal Will Hire Ex-PSG Coach Emery

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Report: Arsenal Will Hire Ex-PSG Coach Emery

    Tom Sunderland
    via Bleacher Report

    Why Rooney's Son Could Hold Key to MLS Switch

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Why Rooney's Son Could Hold Key to MLS Switch

    via mirror

    Mahrez's Man City Deal Delayed by Agent Fees

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Mahrez's Man City Deal Delayed by Agent Fees

    via leicestermercury

    Good News for Man City: Leicester Lower Price Tag on Mahrez

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Good News for Man City: Leicester Lower Price Tag on Mahrez

    Tom Sunderland
    via Bleacher Report