It looks like Shola Ameobi could be signing for Bolton in the coming days, is he the right man? We aren’t so sure
Over the summer I remember seeing on Twitter that Shola Ameobi had been released by Crystal Palace. At the time I thought he`d be a great signing for Bolton, but I didn’t think it would happen. Now it looks like it might happen – he is currently training with our first team – and now, I don’t want it to.
Ameobi would be another attacking body – a phrase Neil Lennon uses on a weekly basis in his press conferences – but I don`t think he could bring much more to the party than that.
Perhaps the fact that Ameobi has already spent time training with Wolves, Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday without earning a contract with them, tells us all we need to know. But then again, he was competing with the likes of Afobe, Emyr Huws – who we all now know about – and Forestieri, a wee bit better than Gary Madine, all due respect to him.
Neil Lennon said Ameobi would offer us something different. He is an old, ex-Premier League striker, who had a decent career in his prime, but is now past his best, doesn’t score many goals and is slow but decent aerially. Oh, and he likes to get injured. Sounds a bit like Emile Heskey to me.
Maybe Lennon`s plan is that by having both of them, he can play one for six weeks, whilst the other recovers from a hamstring injury, enabling that one to recover and be fit in time to replace the other when he pulls his hamstring. At least we`ll always have one of our oldies fit to play.
In fairness to Emile, suggesting Ameobi is on his level is a bit of an insult. Watching Heskey at 37, he still looks commanding and powerful. He has a great ability to create opportunities for the rest of our attack if he doesn’t score that many himself. He had four successful years at one of England`s best clubs, Liverpool, and represented them well in the Champions League. Ameobi meanwhile spent his career at Newcastle, and whilst he did play for them in Europe back when they were actually a decent side, looking back his career doesn’t quite sparkle the way Heskey`s does.
Heskey made 546 appearances for five Premier League clubs, including an impressive 150 for Liverpool, and bagged an impressive 117 goals in all. Ameobi made 312 appearances for Newcastle, scoring 53.
I`m not saying Ameobi is a bad player, he has great experience, but to me he is simply a worse version of Heskey. Not a player we need.
It seemed at one point we were close to signing Igor Vetokele, a 23 year old from Charlton. He is pacey, and a goalscorer. Unlike Ameobi, that is actually something we don’t have. He`s also Belgian, at the moment Belgian definitely seems a good breed of striker.
Despite his tender age he scored 16 goals in 43 appearances in Danish football for Copenhagen, before moving to Charlton where he bagged 11 in 33. Impressive for the youngster`s first season in English football.
Nevertheless, that deal is not going to happen, we are now into October and seem to have exhausted every avenue possible.
We`ve been told for the third or fourth week running that the club “hope” to have a deal concluded for a striker before Saturday`s game, but given the time I`d say that`s unlikely.
Some fans have been suggesting that the answer to our striker conundrum can be found within the club, and at this stage I`m inclined to agree with them. Jamie Thomas could be the answer, but it could be a bit early for him, in only his first season for our Under 21 side.
Hopefully Max Clayton can step up to the mark. We`d love to have another striker, but if not, its up to Clayton to make himself our man. He has the ability, he is quick, strong and can finish, if he can stay fit for the season, we needn`t look past him.