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Have Wanderers Blown The Chance To Sign Gary Hooper?

We look at whether resources from outgoing players could have been better used to sign a striker that could fire Wanderers to glory

Have Wanderers blown the chance to sign Gary Hooper?
Have Wanderers blown the chance to sign Gary Hooper?
David Rogers/Getty Images

When Bolton Wanderers sold two-time player of the season Tim Ream, the obvious position that needed strengthening by the incoming cash and freed up wage bill was a new striker.

Instead, Wanderers plumped for a couple of foreign full-backs in the form of Francesco Pisano and Jose Manuel Casado to bolster a defence that has looked pretty strong in the first few weeks of the season. Meanwhile, up the other end of the pitch Bolton have scored just one solitary goal all season long - from five league matches and one cup match. That's one goal in 540 minutes.

Wanderers fans thought they had a goalscoring hero in the form of summer signing Gary Madine, who looked like a great purchase on pre-season form. However, his actual season form goes to show that analysis of friendly matches against Port Vale and Oldham Athletic is about as worthwhile as relying on the hashtag #TransferDeadlineDay for genuine transfer rumours. Madine has missed no fewer than five chances from within six yards and missed a penalty this season, so he's about as much of a goalscorer as David De Gea is a Real Madrid player.

It's not just Madine who's at blame for our goal shy start to the season though. Fellow strikers Zach Clough and Emile Heskey have also failed to score yet this season, with the latter missing an open goal from six yards against Blackburn Rovers on Friday night.

Hence the obvious need for someone who can accomplish that oh-so-difficult task of putting the ball in the back of the net. One name that has been linked to Wanderers for some time now is Gary Hooper, who worked with Neil Lennon at Celtic and has today been made available for loan by Norwich City.

The main stumbling block for Hooper's potential arrival is, surprise surprise, money and, more specifically, wages. With that in mind, if Bolton hadn't signed both Pisano and Casado already could we then have gone all out and thrown money at signing Hooper to solve our goalscoring woes?

Hooper is a proven goalscorer who would score goals for fun with the amount of opportunities that Wanderers have been creating. He scored 50 goals in 95 appearances for Scunthorpe United before scoring 82 goals in 138 games for Celtic. Hooper is exactly the kind of player that we need to compliment the creative qualities of Clough, Wellington Silva and Mark Davies, but now any deal for Hooper seems like fanciful thinking - especially with richer Championship clubs now circling around him.

Don't get me wrong, I think Pisano and Casado are good signings and realistically they were both required. However, the serious lack of goals in our side means that signing a natural goalscorer had to be our key priority this summer.

What do you think? Have Bolton blown the chance to sign Hooper? Let us know your thoughts on this and Bolton's summer transfer activity in general in the comments section below.