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Bolton Wanderers: Top 5 'Messiahs'

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

After Alex Samizadeh scored again for the U21s on Monday, Bolton Wanderers fans were clamouring to get him and fellow goal-getter Jamie Thomas straight into the first team.

Whilst I am very excited about both, I'm not convinced that either of them can make us significantly better right at this moment in time.

It also got me thinking about other players that our fans perhaps haven't seen much of, or we have seen them but ever since they've left we've convinced ourselves that they're the answer to all our problems. So without further ado, here are my top five 'messiahs'.

5) Lukas Jutkiewicz

The 'Juke' as he's affectionately known was one of those players who we didn't expect much of. So once he starting scoring a few goals and contributing a lot with his all-round play, he became a fan favourite (especially with our own Dan Murphy).

He was also a favourite of one Douglas Freedman. It's quite well publicised that Freedman would have sold his grandma's eyes to bring him in on a permanent deal. And his failure to do so seemed to start his rapid descent into insanity.

Whilst I do think that Jutkiewicz would have no doubt improved us, I think the 'eggs in one basket' approach Freedman used when trying to sign him was eventually his downfall, and his record at Burnley since he left us is pretty dreadful.

I'm also not sure that his departure warranted a poem. Sorry Dan.

4) Andranik Teymourian

Ah Andranik. Best remembered for his goals against Wigan Athletic in the league and Doncaster Rovers in the FA Cup.

He literally didn't do anything else of note but due to his impressive level of performance in those two games, fans were demanding he start every single week.

He left us for Fulham on a free transfer. He played one game for them in two years, which I think tells a story on its own.

He does have 94 caps for Iran though...

3) Ricardo Vaz Te

"It's his year."

The three words became a sort of running joke in Vaz Te's time with us.

He burst onto the scene with some impressive performances and goals, scoring three goals in four games at the end of the 2005/06 season. And who could forget his last minute goal in the UEFA Cup in the same season.

His progress was curtailed by injury and he was released after seven years and seven goals.

He found a home with Barnsley and then West Ham United in the 2011/12 season, scoring a very impressive 22 goals in the Championship.

I personally still think to this day that he could offer something to a bottom half Championship team but maybe I'm just being sentimental and there must be a reason nobody's taken a gamble on him.

2) Mustapha Riga


Who could forget the chants?

The Ghanaian/Dutch winger was signed on the back of an impressive season in La Liga with Levante and was nicknamed 'the Bullet', presumably due to his pace.

The first time anybody properly saw him was when he came on for well-known right-winger Joey O'Brien after the 457th injury of his career. He excited the Bolton fans with his direct style and almost scored with a free-kick.

This performance elevated him to cult levels, and fans were beside themselves if he didn't start a game. After about two years of barely playing, he randomly came on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur in the cup and did surprisingly okay.

The highlight of his Bolton career was probably when he came on as a substitute against Arsenal and played so badly that he got withdrawn for Tope Obadeyi. If the manager thinks Obadeyi will offer more than you, then your time's probably up.

1) Kevin Nolan

Yes, you heard me.

Kevin Nolan may or may not be a great Championship player. He hasn't played at this level for a couple of years now. What I do know is that we can't afford him. We don't particularly need him either as we already have an abundance of centre midfielders.

Despite all this, our fans seem to think he'll come in, take the captain's armband off Darren Pratley, score 30 goals and get us promoted. It's simply not the case.

As a centre midfielder, he's limited. As an attacking midfielder, who picks up scraps from a target man and gets in good positions, he was fantastic in his prime.

Our fans seem to forget he was poor for probably about two years and whilst I was sad to see him go when he left, £4.5m for him was great business with the form he was in.

I do think that he'd be a very useful player to have around the place and the sentimental side of me would love to see it happen and Kevin Nolan isn't a naughty boy but he is certainly not the messiah that everyone is calling out for.