Wellington Silva was three minutes away from playing for Bolton Wanderers following his loan move from Arsenal on 18 August. The 22-year-old posted a picture of himself wearing a Trotters training top and signing paperwork on Instagram ahead of their game against MK Dons, and the winger was thought to be in contention to face Karl Robinson's side.
However, manager Neil Lennon has revealed that Bolton were three minutes late when it came to registering the player ahead of the Championship fixture, meaning he couldn't play despite their plans to get him involved immediately. "The deal was three minutes too late. We shaped up this morning with Wellington in the team and he would have enjoyed himself here," said Lennon post-match, according to the Daily Mail.
"The deadline was 4.45pm but we missed it by three minutes. He is pacy, he eliminates people from the game and he's got a goal in him. He can play left, right or through the middle. He will bring a freshness to the attack. We're not struggling, but we need to start scoring some goals."
A lack of goals appears to be the Achilles heel for Bolton so far this season, with the 1-0 defeat at Stadium MK the fourth time they've drawn blank in as many games.
Two losses and a draw leave them second-bottom in the second tier, and some much-needed attacking prowess from Wellington would not go amiss in the coming weeks and months. He failed to get on the scoresheet last season at Almeria.
The Brazilian's temporary switch is his sixth loan move away from Arsenal since arriving in north London back in 2011. The first five were to clubs in Spain, but after receiving a work permit back in April, he now has an opportunity to show what he can do in England.
Wellington remains some way off the Gunners' first team under Arsene Wenger, but others have enjoyed success away from the Emirates Stadium and come back to part of the senior set-up on a regular basis in the past – notably Jack Wilshere at the same club.
Wenger will be hoping the former Fluminense starlet gets an opportunity to show what he can do on a regular basis and the comments from Lennon suggest Bolton rate him highly. If chances do come his way on the pitch, then the onus will be on Wellington to impress the watching Arsenal hierarchy.