Of course some who read this will point out that the game against Derby County was not Ben Amos' debut, but considering it was his first game at the club on a permanent basis I thought I could justify taking a look at the 25 year old from Macclesfield!
As everyone knows Amos had been at Manchester United for many years, since the age of 11 to be precise. During his time at our little neighbours he was sent out on loan six times, with the last of those of course being to our beloved Bolton Wanderers and I think it's fair to say it was love at first sight for the Bolton faithful! I was certainly pleasantly surprised we were able to bring in a goalkeeper of his pedigree on an emergency loan.
His nine game loan spell at Bolton was certainly an unmitigated success with Amos not conceding more than one goal in any of his appearances (I think?). During this time covering for Adam Bogdan and Andy Lonergan he of course kept them out of the team after they both returned to fitness, which considering how well both of them played for Bolton is quite an achievement. I don't think there was a single person who didn't have Amos at the top of their list to replace Lonergan and Bogdan when they left, well in all honesty Manuel Neuer topped my list but apparently he didn't want to move to a club as big as Bolton...
While at United Amos only managed seven first team appearances. Although considering that during that time he was in competition with the likes of Edwin van der Sar, David De Gea and the unheard of Victor Valdes (who on paper was for many years a better goalkeeper than the great Iker Casillas) that could actually be seen as something of an achievement in of itself.
Amos has also played at every England youth level between under 16s and under 21s, which I think is quite impressive!
He comes into the club with rather big boots to fill. Both Adam Bogdan and Andy Lonergan excelled over the last few years.
Lonergan was released, I assume he would think rather unfairly, and it is a shame for a player who was reported to have cost the club £1 million to leave for nothing. He has since been snapped up by Fulham.
Bogdan's head was turned by Liverpool, again a shame we could not get a fee for one of the few players on our books actually worth something. He of course is the harder of the two to take losing, and I would not be surprised to see Bogdan as Liverpool's number 1 by the end of the season considering I've watched games where Simon Mignolet has flapped at the ball so often that I thought he might actually take off...
But if Amos' loan spell at the club is anything to go by then he will have no problem filling those boots. He seems like a keeper confident in organising his back four, which is something which will no doubt be important given Bolton's defensive record in recent years. On top of this he is clearly a talented all round goalkeeper boasting good distribution which is always important (and was always a little bit of a weakness of the great Jussi Jaaskelainen, but hey no one can be perfect).
One issue remaining in the Bolton squad while we are on the topic of goalkeepers is that of the number 2 spot. There has been a lot of talk of Lennon looking to bring in a new number 2 keeper, but I am not convinced that this is necessary. Ross Fitzsimons has proved himself during pre-season to be a reliable player, and with resources tight I think that Bolton will be better off relying on another emergency loan should anything happen to Amos this season.
I think that out of all of Lennon's summer signings to date this is probably the most impressive bringing in a player with actual value who I can see getting us a fee in the future. Hopefully Amos can be the clubs number 1 for years to come, and maybe he will be replaced by the second of the Jaaskelainen dynasty?