On Bolton Wanderers’ future strike force
Following another very encouraging performance from a youngster, I am confident that we have a lot of potential going forward, which I certainly hope will be tapped into next season.
Of course, the young attacker Zach Clough has been taking all of the plaudits- and rightly so. He is one of the most talented youngsters we`ve seen at this club for years and managed to establish himself as a first team regular at first attempt. He`s got a low centre of gravity and terrific balance and poise allowing himself to glide past the opposition effortlessly. His finishing is superb and he also demonstrated his ability to trouble from longer range with a stunning free kick against Wolves. He is slight and that may be something that needs to be addressed, but I think we are very blessed to have a layer like that on our books.
Max Clayton was signed by Dougie Freedman in September, having chased him all summer long. He has been the subject of interest from clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. Although he is by no means the finished article, I can certainly see why he has such suitors. His movement, and ability to find spaces in between the defence and the goal is reminiscent if the likes of Lionel Messi and Pippo Inzaghi. There are certainly aspects of his game he needs to work on, and I feel that the next year could really define his future. Having come from the Crewe academy, he`s learnt from the very best youth coach in Dario Gradi.
Conor Wilkinson is a player that Bolton fans had been longing to see in the first team and it was great to see him given his chance. He acquitted himself reasonably in big games- notably against Liverpool and his former club Millwall, though many had hoped he`d make a greater impact. He`s currently back on loan at Oldham where he will hopefully pick up some more confidence before returning in the summer- ready to fight for a first team place. He`s a tall, lean young man with a very nice first touch and a strong left foot. I really hope he can continue to move forward with his development, and that he doesn`t become another Tom Eaves.
Tom Walker- he who I referred to as another successful full debutant is another exciting talent. The Salford born forward is relatively tall and strong, while also boasting good pace and technical ability, the first team experience he gained this season should really help him break into the first team next season.
Also on our books are more development squad players with real potential including former Tamworth Town striker: Kaiyne Woolery, friend of the site and Wales youth international: Jamie Thomas and Georg Iliev who has spent time on loan at Carlisle this season.
I really do hope that as many of these as possible will be able to fulfil their potential. We have had a long history of promising young players` progress being hampered by injuries- just look at Joe Riley and Josh Vela in recent years. They are all very talented players and they could well be the future of Bolton Wanderers.