The much anticipated return of Eidur Gudjohnsen in a Bolton Wanderers shirt should be judged a success after the Icelander completed 90 minutes against Middlesbrough Monday evening. Despite the 2-1 defeat Gudjohnsen did enough to show that he is more than worthy of a contract and involvement in Neil Lennon's first team squad.
He displayed some silky early touches playing in a free role just behind lone striker Connor Wilkinson, although he perhaps should have had at least one goal to his name after missing two presentable chances towards the end of the first half.
With the game being played at a furious pace it was encouraging to see Gudjohnsen complete the full 90 minutes and I think its fair to say he was consistently involved in Bolton's best attacking moves.
Noises from within the club in the last week have highlighted Gudjohnsen's influence during training and his presence on the pitch tonight seemed to bring out the best in midfielder Zach Clough, whom he linked up with several times in the final third. Liam Trotter not so much.
Other appearances of note tonight included Adam Bogdan and David Wheater, who were both solid enough without ever really being tested. Trotter was given the opportunity to impress but failed to stamp his authority on the game despite bundling in the opening goal early on.
Middlesbrough levelled soon after when Oscar Threlkeld clumsily gave away a penalty, and they stole a winner in the last minute after Bolton had committed players forward for a corner.
Looking ahead Gudjohnsen should be a valuable addition and provide some much needed creativity to the squad after Mark Davies' injury. The days of playing as an out-and-out striker are probably gone, but on tonight's evidence he looks more than capable of doing a job in an advanced midfield role.
With the signing expected to be completed in the next couple of days we can look forward to seeing Eidur Gudjohnsen in a Bolton shirt once again.