Outside of a brief run of good form towards the end of the 2010-11 season that saw the newly-returned Kenny Dalglish send him out alongside Lucas and for a short time kindle dreams of a Liverpool future, midfielder Jay Spearing has always seemed destined to ply his trade away from Anfield.
And while the 24-year-old hasn't entirely given up on his hopes of one day becoming a stalwart at the club he grew up at after joining the Liverpool academy at the age of eight, a quietly successful season in the Championship with Bolton where he has recorded two goals and five assists in 31 starts may hint at his most likely future course.
"There’s no hard feelings about [leaving Liverpool] whatsoever," he said in an interview with the Bolton News. "It’s just a matter of me playing football and I’ve enjoyed every single minute of being at Bolton. I had a good chat with the manager at Liverpool and we both ended on great terms.
"I’ve got to thank Owen Coyle for bringing me in at Bolton because I knew he’d been after me for a while. I’d seen what he did for Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere and so that was a big incentive to come here. But since Dougie [Freedman] has been in he’s nailed me down to a role, doing the defensive work and getting on the ball.
"He’s changed my game and I’ve got a lot to thank him for because he’s allowed me to express myself more out on the field."
Despite being content with his play so far this season, Spearing remains uncertain as to what his future holds, and with a year remaining on his contract at Liverpool there has yet to be any discussion with Bolton about the possibility of making his season-long loan permanent.
He does know, however, that no matter whether his future now lies at Liverpool, Bolton, or somewhere else, by the end of last season the time had come for him to leave Anfield at least in the short term if he was to have any chance of seeing regular playing time and proving himself.
"Growing up and coming through the Liverpool Academy you are going to have that burden on you, just like everyone else," he said. "It just got to that time where I needed to go out and, hopefully, I’ve kept everyone happy here and we can end this season on a high."
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