In the first of a two-parter which will look at our Summer dealings, I'll start with the players Neil Lennon managed to bring to the Macron Stadium.
The first player into the Macron this summer was striker Gary Madine, if you want to see my initial thoughts of the player then here is my debut review on him. As I say in that article, I was unsure as to whether he would is a good signing due to his run ins with the law in the most part. Pre-season put those worries to one side and justified the title of Goal Machine Gary Madine for my debut review. But since then he has struggled.
No one will need it pointing out that Madine has failed to hit the back of the net this season. He seems to have become a player lacking in confidence and reports I have been reading indicate that his performances are not getting any better, which is a worry considering the back-up option is Emile Heskey, who I am a fan of but cannot see playing week in week out.
It’s frustrating to think that had one of his two headers which hit the bar against Derby County gone in then maybe he would be a player full of confidence right now and may have a few more goals. Not only that but Bolton would be two points better off and therefore outside the relegation zone at this early stage of the season which would be nice!
As a piece of transfer business though it is not a bad signing. Yes Madine is struggling, but Lennon had no money to spend so it is hardly a surprise that he missed out on a goal scoring striker as they come at a premium.
I think it is too early to say whether Madine will be a hit or a miss as he may find confidence in the coming weeks, but I think it is fair to say that the signs are not good.
Signing rating: 5/10
Amos was in my opinion a fantastic signing. I said it when delivering his debut review and I continue to think it now. Amos is such a calm presence behind the back four, and as a goalkeeper who does not currently look like making a mistake he can inspire confidence in those in front of him which is critical for building a solid defence.
Amos has without a doubt been helped by solid defensive displays all round this season, with the notable exception of the Middlesbrough match which I believe is the only time he has shipped more than one goal in a competitive Bolton match!
A strong defence forms the core of any good side there can be no doubt about it and with Amos in goal we defiantly have the foundations for that for years to come. With defensive solidarity being the only real positive from the season so far, the importance of Ben Amos is clear for all to see.
The other factor with Amos is his pedigree. Having trained alongside the likes of Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United Amos will have a wealth of experience to draw on, especially for a keeper of such a young age.
This is the signing that has excited me the most this summer and was the first player brought into the club for a few years now who will hold value for years to come which is a massive positive.
Signing rating: 10/10
After the signing of Ben Amos the deal for Osede is what caught my eye the most this summer. Signing a player from the Real Madrid youth system is a fantastic move.
We have to hope that he is able to settle into English football more efficiently than Marcos Alonso did. If he is able to do so rather like with Amos he will be a player who will maintain transfer value which is great news for the club. Obviously I do not want the club to cash in on either player anytime soon, but I would rather we got a fee than lost yet another player on a free!
Osede demonstrated good form in pre-season which is encouraging. He of course got his true welcome to Bolton Wanderers by getting injured in the last pre-season game. But he is set to return from injury and with Dorian Dervite suspended for the next game I expect to see Osede make his league debut for the club.
Once Osede, Dervite and Wheater are all available again, along with the so far impressive Prince- Desir Gouano there will be plenty of healthy competition for positions in our defence which can only help all of those players excel.
Signing rating: 8/10
As I said when writing about Wilson before it is a privilege for Bolton to have finally added a real right back to the squad! Since then we have of course signed Francesco Pisano too, who I will come onto shortly, and it is wonderful to have two right backs available this season.
Wilson has started the season in a solid fashion which is fantastic. There can be no doubt that having a specialist right back in the team is a great asset and was always going to help the defence perform better. That has proved to be the case, and considering that Wilson did not start against Middlesbrough he can proudly say that he has been involved in solid defensive displays since his move to the club.
Signing rating: 8/10
My new favourite player after that last minute equaliser against Nottingham Forest! Dobbie was a slightly strange signing after he spent the end of last season playing in the lower leagues with Fleetwood Town. But he does seem to have played his part so far which I think was always going to be coming off the bench in the closing stages and making an impact.
As I noted when looking at Dobbie before he does have goals in him and has been part of quite a few successful Championship sides. With goals being hard to come by this season so far the fact he has a track record of scoring is an asset and his big game experience may come in helpful whichever end of the table we end up at!
Despite my optimism I am not 100% convinced that Dobbie will always be able to make the necessary impact. There have been games where he has come on and not delivered. From this perspective I think the jury is still out as to whether Dobbie will be a good addition to the squad, but the early signs are positive in my view.
Signing rating: 6/10
Plucked from nowhere by Lennon on loan this does appear to be a great addition. After a solid debut no less than 24 hours after arriving in Bolton on the whole Prince has been solid.
The one thing which always stands out in match reports though is that Prince always looks close to making a mistake. So far that has not happened and hopefully that will stay the case. So long as the rest of the time Prince does a good job though the odd mistake should not be too much of an issue, hopefully at least!
It will be a shame when Prince inevitably leaves at the end of his loan spell though with Bolton having given him the platform to kick on in his career which just seems to be the norm with our loan signings at the moment…
Signing rating: 8/10
Jose Manuel Casado
I can’t say that I know a lot about Casado having had no cause to look into him before now. But I don’t need to know anything about him to know that we needed a new left back after letting Tim Ream go to Fulham and with Lennon not rating Andy Kellett.
Casado has played his football to date in the Spanish leagues with a lot of that coming in La Liga. This means that rather like with Pisano he comes into the club having played in a good quality league for a number of years which is great.
It is likely that he will be used as back up to Dean Moxey for most of the season, as Moxey seems to have started solidly and should not be at risk of losing his place. But it is important to have cover and seems like a great signing to offer that and some competition for Moxey.
Signing rating: 7/10
The fact that Bolton wanted to sign Pisano was one of the worst kept secrets in football this summer. He played his entire career to date in Italy, mainly Serie A, for Cagiari Calcio. But after their relegation at the end of last season Pisano was released by the club.
Reports on him speak of great pace which he utilises to great affect while playing at right back. He is also able to play right midfield and right wing so can offer some much needed cover in that department as well.
I think it will be interesting to see whether Wilson keeps hold of his place after Pisano is up to speed as he seems like a very useful player. But having not yet made an appearance for Bolton it is hard to say whether this will be a good signing or not so the judgement has to come on face value, and from that angle it looks like a great deal.
Signing rating: 7/10
While writing about Silva for his debut I said how nice it was to have more bodies in the wing position. His arrival has led to the use of wide men which is great. But we still have the problem of not being able to put the chances created in the back of the net.
Although I can see the logic of adding more creative quality to the squad I do think that the money used on this deal should have been used to bring in a striker. I know that may be easier said than done with the amount of money available but I am becoming more convinced that this was the wrong attacking signing for the club which is a shame.
This does not reflect on what I think of Silva who is clearly a talent and should hopefully have a great season for us. But if we cannot finish off the chances that he creates then what is the point?
Signing rating: 4/10
Jon Cederio and Jordan Lussey
I have banded these two together as not only do I know nothing about them they are also likely to spend the whole season playing at lower levels within the club so I cannot really be bothered to find out about them either!
Lussey was of course on loan at Bolton at the end of last season and made his move from Liverpool permanent when his contract expired. Ceberio joined from Real Sociedad when his contract there expired.
Both of them are promising midfielders and hopefully they can fulfil their promise and move into the first team in the coming years!
Signing ratings: 6/10
Overall I think that Lennon has done well with the players he has brought into the club this summer. He has not had a lot to work with financially, needing to get rid of some other fringe players to make any other moves.
It is not Lennon’s fault that there is no money, and he did not bring in the terrible players we don’t want and can’t get rid of because they are terrible.
It is a shame that he was not able to bring in a goal scorer. Gaining defensive depth, especially at full back was clearly necessary so I have no problem with the use of funds for that. But I do feel that Silva was a luxury when we lack a goal scorer. That is the one deal I have a problem with solely on the grounds that we need a goal scorer.
Hopefully when the loan window opens we can ship out a few players and maybe bring in a striker to help kick start our season. If we are able to do that then I will be very happy with the summer’s business and think that we will be able to start looking up the table.
If not then it will likely be a very long season.
Part 2 of my Summer Dealings Review, which will look at our departures, will go live at 7pm tomorrow.