Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman says Tim Ream is closing in on a first team return.
The 25-year old American centre-back has not featured for the Trotters since early February and has made just a total of 16 appearances this season but Freedman insists he certainly has a future at the Reebok Stadium as the club chases a promotion playoff spot on the Championship table.
“Tim’s a fantastic fella and he’s been really unlucky, as have one or two others, because of the form of certain individuals,” Freedman told The Bolton News.
"He’s always (around) and about the squad, trains fantastically well and he’s definitely got a future. If we decided to go three at the back – and I’m not talking this Saturday necessarily – then he’s got as good a shot as anyone.
“He hasn’t been on the bench but that is only because of the position he plays. I'm not going to name two defenders because I'd rather have more attacking options. With them, we can always win a game."
He added of the former New York Red Bull star: “The fantastic thing about Tim is that he’s an all-round good footballer,” said Freedman. “He can play left back, center back, center midfield and that’s why it’s easy to say that he has got a future here. The key to him is that he’s training very hard and I know if I called on him this weekend that he’d be ready to step straight into the team, just as he did six or eight games ago.
“That’s what you need at this stage of the season. Managers need to see a good professional who trains really hard and is ready to be called upon.”