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Debut Review: Goal Machine Gary Madine

In part three of his review of the noobs, Jamie turns his gaze on our handsome no.14

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

So we've done Prince-Désir Gouano, we've done Lawrie Wilson - now it's the turn of Gary Madine.

The next league debutant on show against Derby County was Gary Madine.

I will start by saying that seemingly like every Bolton Wanderers fan I was a little concerned by the signing of Madine. But I am happy to say I have been proved wrong to have had reservations.

Madine has been something of a wanderer to date having played for nine clubs at the age of 24.

He started out at then League One Carlisle United managing 22 goals in 83 appearances. He was also loaned out three times but managed no goals in a handful of appearances during those spells.

He then moved onto Sheffield Wednesday when they were a League One club netting 27 goals in 100 appearances. His spell in Sheffield also included three loan moves and Madine scored a handful of goals during those spells.

Overall Madine scored 56 goals in 229 appearances pre Bolton. A lot of them came in League One, which could be a cause for concern considering the fortunes of Jermaine Beckford at the club, who at times look about as good as a fish out of water would be up front. Beckford though had an exceptional record in League One but was hit and miss above that level. Madine's goal scoring record is not bad though, and early indications in pre-season along with his hitting the cross bar twice against Derby County show goal scoring potential.

His career at Sheffield Wednesday, as we all know, was interrupted by his conviction for assault in 2013 when he was sentenced to 18 months in prison but was released after five. This was the second time he was caught up in the justice system for assault as in 2010 he was sentenced to community service.

Now I would be lying if I said his criminal past wasn't the reason why I was worried about signing Madine. But in interviews he has shown a drive to put the past behind him and do his talking on the pitch. I think it's fair to say that if he carries his pre-season form into the Championship then everyone at the club will be happy to ignore his past.

There has been a lot made of comparisons between Madine and club legend Super Kevin Davies. Like with Davies Madine's career had hit the bumpers after his run in with the law. This meant that like Super Kev he needed a change of surroundings.

The comparisons don't end there as Madine is a player who is dominant in the air with reports from the Derby game saying he won almost everything, and hit the cross bar twice with headed efforts. No one reading this would need to be reminded that Super Kev was not too shabby in the air either.

There is also his ability to hold the ball up and bringing others into play. Davies was one of the best in the Premier League at this and it seems Madine shares that skill set.

There is also receiving the ball into feet. A lot of people forget that Davies was also very good at that. I remember that impressive win against Tottenham Hotspur under Owen Coyle where Davies showed everyone he was more than just a player who could batter a defender and head the ball. The indications Madine is also comfortable with the ball played into feet is encouraging as it will allow Bolton to mix it up going forward.

Having a player who can hold the ball up well is clearly always an asset. This is especially the case with the players we have to operate around him. The likes of Zach Clough and Max Clayton should thrive off such a striker holding the ball up and bringing them into play. I have to say that over the last year I have regularly forgotten we own Clayton after he got injured, and every time I remember about him I get very excited!

The idea of Madine, Clough and Clayton (who of course will not have played with Clough yet) up front with a (hopefully) fit Mark Davies in behind is very exciting and I think that should all of those players stay fit and Lennon find a system to accommodate them all then Bolton could become a very dangerous attacking unit this season.

And if that were the case then who knows where the club can end up this season!