On the Wednesday just passed, as the Transfer Window flew upon and with it the flood gates burst and all the signing confirmations did floweth, Bolton Wanderers might just have confirmed their most important signing of the entire Summer. No, not Gary Madine (although I do feel like he could surprise a few this season), I am of course talking about our new first choice goalkeeper - Ben Amos.
I really can't stress enough just how important the signing of Amos is.
First of all, and the most obvious reason, is because he's actually quite good. We've signed a player who's been brought up within the walls of the biggest, and for much of his time there, the best team in the country, training with the best coaches in the game and along side some fantastic goalkeepers such as Edwin van der Sar and David De Gea. Even with his relatively young age for a goalkeeper and the fact that he hasn't played all that many first team games in his career, he is still a very experienced 'keeper.
Also, as I eluded to with his age, he's yet to hit his peak as a goalkeeper, at only just gone 25, he could quite easily still play at a very high level for the next ten years. The club have pulled a blinder by tying Amos down to a four year deal, and I have no doubt we will see him hit his peak as the years go by with him as our number one.
Don't get me wrong though, as I said, he's very good already. With Adam Bogdan departing for the lofty heights of Liverpool, it was pivotal that we signed someone of an equal ability if we are to make any sort of tangible progress next season, and I believe we have with Amos. In his brief cameo of nine games on loan at the Macron last season, he displayed that he's a composed and measured goalkeeper, who is very dependable with shots flying in his direction and possesses impeccable timing to rush off his line and halt an onrushing attacker.
A quality in which he betters Bogdan, or any goalkeeper we've had for a number of years, perhaps even Jussi Jääskeläinen, is his distribution. Amos can't only kick a ball, off the ground or out of his hands, a massive distance, he can also hit them with pinpoint accuracy. An attribute which I have no doubt will come in handy next year.
However, I think what impressed me most about Amos in his short time at the club last season was his ability to command the box. His upbringing at United, surrounded by big and boisterous characters, no doubt helped forge that trait and it can only be of a benefit to us. He will lead from the back next season.
That is not all why Amos is such a vital signing for us though. I believe us capturing him has improved the morale around the whole club, from management to fans, ten fold, and I dare not think what it would be like had we missed out on him. It was obvious to all that if Bogdan was to leave, Amos would be the number one target to replace him, so had we not managed to pull it off the whole club would just have felt deflated and lost. Tasked with the job of having now to find two new goalkeepers in a very competitive market, knowing full well that non will fit in as well as Amos would have done.
Thankfully, however, the club did manage to make the deal happen and now we can all just concentrate on the return of Jussi, right?