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Contract Question: Craig Davies - Stay or Go?

With a number of Wanderers contracts up at the end of the current season and a new manager at the helm, this summer represents a real opportunity for Neil Lennon to make wholesale changes to the squad.

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

With that comes a period of uncertainty for members of the squad whos contract expires in the summer. One of these twitchy individuals is Dougie Freedman's first permanent signing, Craig Davies. The Wales International forward is a fans favourite at the club and his position more than most is coming under scrutiny as next seasons team begins to take shape.

Signed in January 2013 from Barnsley as a big man at a time when Bolton Wanderers struggled to adapt to life after Kevin Davies, Davies firstly struggled to force his way into the side and often had limited oppurtunities off the bench to make his mark. This continued into the following season as Davies struggled with injuries until eventually being loaned out to Preston North End where he enjoyed quite a succesful spell and came back to Bolton rejevenated.

After the departure of Freedman, Davies' Bolton fortunes vastly improved as Neil Lennon installed Davies as his preferred striker, even shipping Jermaine Beckford out on-loan. Davies' powerful and combative play and ball retention suited Neil Lennon's approach of possesion in positive territory areas.

However, just as things started to look good for Davies, injury strikes again, a real feature of his Bolton career. Davies has struggled with a string of niggly injuries and Lion of Vienna Suite understands this may well be what calls curtains on his Bolton Wanderers representation.

The key thing here is as much as many, myself included, like Davies and as much as his presence on a pitch is a real lift for those around him, just how effective is he in helping Bolton Wanderers win football matches?

Craig Davies has only managed 8 goals in 46 games for Bolton Wanderers and that's before we look into how many of those were penalties. Clearly, a strikers game is worth more than just goals but is this really enough from a team that will more often than not play one up front?

Another question that cannot be ignored is just how effective is Craig Davies at being the target man we need at Bolton Wanderers? At the back end of last season when we effectively replaced Davies with Lukas Jutkiewicz we were far more dangerous and the ball seemed to 'stick' far more, not to mention the goals...

I think if you look at this objectively it is a pretty easy decision and with the frequent injury problems, I would be surprised if Craig Davies is still at the club next season.