Boro’ went into 2012 looking to follow up a hugely successful year; moving quickly to snap up Everton youngster James Wallace. His signing came just a handful of days after he’d returned to Goodison Park after spending time on loan at Shrewsbury Town. For us, the lad would bolster a midfield that lacked the influential John Mousinho; a tour-de-force who was injured at the time. It was an agreement that should’ve lasted an initial one month. In one of the more unusual transfer situations we’ve seen, it barely lasted a week.
It was GW who brought Wallace to the club. But that same GW was out the door within a few days; moving north to manage Preston North End. That change in management is cited as the (key) reason why the player ended up heading back to Merseyside just as quickly as he arrived. Boro’ never got to see what the young midfielder could do. And the lad himself was left looking for a new opportunity to find first team action. The good news for him is that he soon got another loan deal. And the good news for us is that we didn’t end up missing his talent.
James Wallace: Before Boro’
Wallace joined the Toffees at the tender age of 13-years-old. He made his senior debut in the Europa League in August 2009, but then found himself out of action until the following year by a double hernia. After returning to fitness, the midfielder went out on loan to gain first team action in the Football League. We were to be his fourth port of call. A sign of his talent is the fact that Wallace had gained international recognition with the England U19 and U20 squads.
James Wallace: After Boro’
Just days after returning from Boro’, Wallace moved to Tranmere Rovers on loan. It’d turn out to be a great move for the lad; one that would be made permanent in summer 2012. It was a platform on which he could develop his fledgling career in the Football League; establishing himself at League One level over the following two years. By doing so, he caught the attention of other clubs. Upon the end of his deal in 2014, the lad earned himself a move to Sheffield United on a three-year deal.
Injuries unfortunately caught up with him; limiting the number of times he was able to feature for the Blades. He went back to Shrewsbury Town for a second time in January 2016, although an injury would also disrupt his loan time there. Wallace saw out the rest of the 2015-6 season with the Shrews, before returning to Bramall Lane. He would then be out on loan again later that year; going back to Tranmere at the end of November for a short-term loan deal. As soon as January rolled around, the move was made permanent.
The player’s time at Prenton Park came to an end when his 18-month contract expired. At this stage, he secured a move to Fleetwood Town; hanging up his boots after one season there to become the club’s chief scout. It was a role that he seemed to warm to. In 2022, he took up a similar position at Preston North End.