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Gary Madine Can Solve Bolton's Goal Crisis

After making the outlandish claim that Gary Madine will 'score 20 goals this season' on yesterday's LOVpod, Rob attempts to provide method for his madness

Gary Madine scored his first goal with a dramatic last minute equaliser against Brighton
Gary Madine scored his first goal with a dramatic last minute equaliser against Brighton
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Gary Madine may only have scored his first Bolton Wanderers goal in his ninth appearance for the club on Saturday, but I believe he has the traits that could make him a quality Championship striker.

Madine has scored 60 goals in 253 appearances in his career, that's one goal every 4.2 games which in itself is far from impressive for a striker.

But looking at Madine he should have all the qualities that could lead to him being a good forward at this level: he's strong and can bully central defenders - which he did against Derby County, for example - he's good in the air, and he has 'a decent touch for a big lad.'

With a bit of confidence behind him it's arguable Madine could kick on and add a few more goals to his game. Against Derby he could have scored twice but for a lick of paint on the crossbar, he should have scored against Burton Albion, and he's missed a couple of chances in other games as well - so it's feasible he could already have scored six goals.

The history of the Championship has shown that strikers who haven't necessarily been prolific can suddenly find goals. For example, Daryl Murphy scored 27 goals in 46 games for Ipswich Town last season, but prior to that he had only scored 41 goals in 270 games in his career - that's a rate of a goal every 6.5 games. Similarly, rumoured Wanderers target Yann Kermorgant had only scored one goal in every 3.6 games through his career before he scored 24 in 54 games for Bournemouth last season.

Looking back one season Ross McCormack scored 29 goals in 47 games for in the 2013/14 campaign, but prior to that he had only scored 82 goals in 286 games, at a rate of one goal in every 3.5 games. Looking back even further, Marlon King had only scored a goal every 3.2 games before he scored 22 in 45 for Watford in 2005/6.

So there is prior history in strikers suddenly coming good in the Championship and it's interesting that these players, bar McCormack, are similar types of players to Madine - big blokes who can also play a bit.

If we can get Liam Feeney knocking good crosses in to Madine as he did against Brighton, and the likes of Wellington SilvaMax Clayton and Mark Davies linking up with him then he will inevitably find himself in situations to score. And even if he doesn't score himself, he should be providing the knock downs to set up the creative players behind him with their own scoring opportunities.

Maybe 20 goals was a bit of a rush of blood to the head but, with the right service and a boost in confidence, I believe he could be the man to get the goals we're sorely missing.

No doubt you'll all think I'm off my rocker and talking nonsense, so feel free to share your thoughts and even agree with me in the Comments section below.