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Shola Ameobi - The Last Resort

Desperate times...

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It's happened. It's actually happened.

Despite being on trial last week and getting turned down for being too much like the strikers we already have, Shola Amobi has signed for Bolton Wanderers.

The former Newcastle United and Crystal Palace frontman has signed a pay-as-you-play deal until January, when the situation will no doubt be reassessed and it will be decided whether he'll sign another contract.

Ameobi, who is a Nigerian international, will wear the #26 for the duration of his stay at the Macron Stadium and could be in the squad to face Leeds United later on today.

Naturally, news of Ameobi's capture hasn't exactly filled the Wanderers fan on the internet full of relief and excitement. If anything, it's done the exact opposite, with many (including myself) depressingly claiming that we're doomed for relegation or being too apathetic to care.

Whilst me saying that we're going down is a little tongue in cheek, the concern is most definitely there and with us still sitting at the bottom of the table ahead of a massive game later on today, it could get even worse. However, I don't actually think the signing of Shola Ameobi is the that bad.

Don't get me wrong, it's entirely soul destroying to know that he is the best we can get, after literally having Adam Le Fondre and Eidur Gudjohnsen last season. Even more so when you consider that Lennon originally turned down the chance to sign Ameobi after his first trial at the club.

Lennon's reasoning then was sound and it's my main worry with the Ameobi acquisition. He's another striker who bases his game on physically who can't score goals. Two of those are driving half of Bolton to contemplating ending it all, so three is certain to make everyone even more enraged.

But, as I alluded too, it's not all bad. As I wrote in this here article, Ameobi is a vastly experienced player at Premier League level and has experience of gaining promotion from this cesspit of a league. He also has a bit more to his game than purely being a big target man, he's fairly mobile for a big guy and has a bit more ability on the ball than our other strikers.

I also believe the contact we've got him on is brilliant for us, as a pay-as-you-play deal until January is practically risk free. If he comes in and does well, then great the deal has somehow been a success. In the highly likely case that it doesn't go to plan and Ameobi isn't very good or if he immediately gets injured after being out of action for going on six months, he gets paid very, very little and leaves in January. When literally no other attempt at a striker is coming off, you can't blame Lennon for taking a punt on a contract that is so risk free.

We all know Ameobi isn't the best, and his scoring record is appalling for a striker, but there is one element of the situation that may go in our favour - Ameobi isn't only our last resort, we're his last resort too.

He's been without a club since the summer and was turned down by Wolverhampton Wanderers, us, Sheffield Wednesday and undoubtedly more before we brought him in.

He need this move to be a relative success if he wishes to continue his career at a reasonably good level, and we need this move to be a relative success if we wish to continue playing football at a reasonably good level.

We're both on the same ledge, on the precipice, staring down into the abyss, and we need to hold each others hands to avoid falling in.