Player to Watch: Rob Hall

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

While Rob Hall is in his third season as a professional footballer, the young man is only nineteen going on twenty. Looking at his past performance and the current state of the Wanderers, what can we reasonably expect out of Hall this season?

Rob Hall is just a shade under two months away from his twentieth birthday and already has shown signs of being able to grow into a productive attacking player in English football. Hall’s first season as a professional, his age 17/18 season, saw him spend the bulk of his time away on loan with League Two side Oxford United. In 13 total appearances across all competition Hall netted 5 goals and provided 2 assists for teammates. For those reader more inclined towards rate statistics this worked out to 0.45 goals per 90 minutes and 0.18 assists per 90. Not bad for a teenager in his first professional year, even if it was against inferior competition.

Last season, Hall found most of his playing time while on loan with Birmingham City in the Championship. The bump up in competition saw Hall kept off the score board in his 13 appearances, totaling 878 minutes, for Brum. However, Hall tally 7 assists, 0.72 assists per 90, which still shows that Hall was a contributing part on offense.

So far this season, in limited action for Bolton, Wanderers fans have seen the best that Hall can offer in the Shrewsbury match. Hall scored on a lovely low curling effort to far post whit his left foot after he cut in from the right wing. His assist to Odelusi was similar. Hall cut in from the right flank and hit an inch perfect in-swinging cross with his left foot that Odelusi just needed to get a toe on to poke home. In league play so far this season Hall has earned himself one start and one substitute appearance totaling 76 minutes. While Hall has not managed a goal or an assist in either game, which to be fair neither has the team as a whole, he has contributed to the offense by sending in crosses at a rate of 4.7 crosses per 90, as well as has played 1 of the 2 accurate through balls that the team has managed all season. If it weren’t for a very good save by QPR’s Robert Green, Craig Davies would have converted Hall’s nifty pass into a match tying goal.

So, based on what we’ve seen from Hall in past and so far this season, with a little projection thrown in, I think we should expect to see Hall receiving regular minutes as long as Chris Eagles remains out. I also think Hall should be the first choice replacement for Chung Yong Lee, if the South Korean needs a break with the wealth of World Cup Qualifying and international friendlies on the schedule over the next couple months. By the end of the season I think it likely that Hall will have earned himself 20 to 25 appearances across all competitions and will log over 1000 minutes for the first time in his career. If Bolton regain any type of form resembling competence, I could also see Hall realistically chipping in 3-6 goals and 6-9 assists across all competitions as well. Basically, I think Hall will be a valuable rotational player for the squad and think he will only get better as he plays more and starts to mature.

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