There has been a lot of opinion in relation to Tim Ream flying around recently so I thought I would get involved in this growing craze amongst the Bolton fan base.
I think it is fair to say Ream’s time at Bolton has been a little mixed. Signing from MLS side New York Red Bulls as a player full of promise highly regarded across the pond he was thrown in at the deep end it is fair to say with Bolton’s unsuccessful fight against relegation.
There was much criticism of Ream at that time, but of course it should be remembered that he was adapting to a new countries game, a far higher quality of opposition than in the MLS and trying to form part of a new defensive unit all at the same time. In addition to that the squad would have been low on confidence, and very few players came out of that season with their reputations intact.
He was then dropped into the Championship, yet another new league to get used to with a different style of play to many of the teams he would have been starting to become accustomed too in the Premier league. Again Ream struggled and again he got flack.
It is only really since his move out to left back with spells at defensive midfield that Ream’s stock began to rise amongst the Bolton faithful as they began to see what a classy player he is. Having lost the likes of Chung-Yong Lee and Eidur Gudjohnsen Ream is probably now the most technically gifted player in our squad, with the potential exception of some of our younger charges.
The sign that Ream's stock had indeed risen at the Reebok then Macron was the fact that he won successive player of the year awards. Now many, including myself, point to the fact that a major part of this was the fact that Ream didn’t get injured. This is maybe true, I’m sure if someone like Mark Davies had managed to stay fit for the whole of one of those seasons he would have been in the running too. But the fact is that he didn’t and Ream did. This argument does take away from the fact that Ream was a consistent performer throughout those two seasons, and I’m not sure any player on Bolton’s books could have boasted that.
But alas Ream has been sold (or at least at the time of writing a bid in the region of £1.75 million from QPR is reported to have been accepted). So this brings us onto the question of whether Ream can be replaced.
The answer to that is yes. Assuming Lennon is allowed to spend that fee (which is I will admit a big assumption but Lennon seems sure he will get the money and be able to spend it on two players before the Middlesbrough match) then I have no doubt that he can bring in a player to replace Ream. Maybe they won’t be as technically gifted as Ream but I have full confidence in Lennon’s ability to find a player to fill his boots.
There are also the other things he could do with the money. Again assuming that Lennon is given the money it has not escaped anyone’s attention that Bolton need a goal scorer. Now at this point I will admit to being very frustrated that QPR and Fulham couldn’t have made a move for Ream while Le Fondre was still available. But Chris has covered other options that are out there and one in particular stands out.
That is Gary Hooper. His career at Carrow Road does seemed to have faltered somewhat and there can be no doubt at all that Lennon is the man who could get him back up to the form he was showing at Celtic. If such a move were possible (which I am not convinced and would depend entirely on how much Norwich think he is worth or whether they are open to a loan move) then it would be a fantastic bit of business I think.
If Lennon were able to bring in Hooper (or another goal scorer) and a replacement defender then although I am sad to see Ream leave I would happily take the money. Although Ream is a good asset for the club there is no doubt that if that kind of money was spent wisely by Lennon it will improve the team and therefore our chances of doing something this season.