Date: 13th July 2016 at 10:34pm
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Bolton have made their fourth signing of the summer, bringing in goalkeeper Mark Howard on a free transfer.

He was released by Sheffield United earlier in the summer, and has now signed a two year contract at the Macron.

It’s a position Wanderers really needed to address. Ben Amos was, is, and probably will be the number one goalkeeper. But Howard will provide something which we haven’t had for a full 12 months: competition between the sticks.

Amos signed a permanent deal last summer after both Adam Bogdan and Andy Lonergan left the club. With only Paul Rachubka’s signing and Harry Campbell making the occasional sub appearance, Amos was pretty much guaranteed the gloves.

It spoke volumes too, at the height of our financial troubles during the winter, when Amos was unavailable for a few games and Neil Lennon still felt the need to sign an emergency goalkeeper despite the total transfer embargo. A shame, when in recent times, Bolton have been blessed with a strong roster of keepers.

Remember when we thought we could move Ali Al-Habsi on? Seems a lifetime ago.

But now, Amos should have least someone pushing him, and if he drops his level sufficiently, Howard should have enough to be able to replace him.

The 29-year-old Howard had a journeyman period after leaving Arsenal’s youth set up. Playing for Cardiff, St Mirren, Aberdeen and Blackpool amongst others, he signed for Sheffield United in 2012 where he finally settled down. He made 80 league appearances in four years, becoming the first choice keeper in the final two seasons.

 

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