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The Rebuke of the Juke

The last week has seen Wanderers fans reeling after seeing the whites number one transfer target Lukas Jutkiewicz sign for local rivals Burnley. The lure of the Premier League and the coveted spot lining up alongside goal machine Marvin Sordell proved to be too strong for the big man who took to twitter to thank the fans and club alike for his successful loan spell at the Reebok / Macron Stadium.

Now as our hopes and dreams fade and the Juke takes the required injections when living in that corner of Lancashire, an important question rears its ugly head, how do we replace arguably our most influential player? This question is not easily answered but I may clever and modest enough to do just that.

The obvious idea is to go ‘like for like’ but this is much easier said than done in any position, let alone target man. The ‘big number 9’ or ‘old fashioned centre-forward’ is without question a rare breed in today’s game and is particularly a problem as so many managers like to have one within their squads. A good example of this is Billy Davies employing full-back Greg Halford as centre-forward more often than not last season at Nottingham Forest.

Is there anyone available to Bolton within their budget to play this role? It is certainly a difficult question and one I am sure the Bolton board alongside Dougie Freedman have pondered all summer as their hopes of signing their number target Jutkiewicz slowly faded.

Maybe the option is there to promote from within? Strong frontman Craig Davies was brought in to hustle and bustle his way to goals and has shown at times he is more than capable of leading a line. The problem with Davies though is can he be relied upon to bring others in the game, like Jutkiewicz did so well. I also doubt his credentials at Championship level and think he is more suited to the lower leagues.

This topic brings us wonderfully onto the next player in the pecking order, the forever-developing Tom Eaves. Eaves certainly looks the part, a monster of a man who continuously looks to play with his back to goal. As encouraged as we all were with the development of the young scouser, his progress seems to of come to a standstill and may not make the cut at Bolton Wanderers. A run of poor loan spells of late seem to have all but secured his fate.

Another option for the Wanderers is to change the style or brand of football. Jermaine Beckford spent the majority of last season on a completely different wavelength from his teammates and continous saw his bursting runs through the oppositions’ defensive channels ignore as Bolton moved the ball to the full backs hoping the pockets of space in midfield would open up.

I saw absolutely nothing last season to suggest to me that this is the way forward and it was this poor combination which saw us sign Jutkiewicz in the first place.

Perhaps I don’t have the answer to this one, feel free to leave your thoughts below.