It seems as if the transfer restrictions laid onto Bolton Wanderers during their spell of financial peril last season have, at last, been lifted, or at least slackened to allow new bodies in through the Macron Stadium door.
This has allowed The Whites to make their first permanent signings for quite some time and also allows new boss Phil Parkinson to bolster a depleted first team squad and bring in some of his own players to in order to build a team in his own image. Two signings are expected before the start of next week, with the potential for a third, and one of those is free-agent striker Jamie Proctor, whom Parkinson knows full well from his time at Bradford City last season.
After his excellent insight into the new boss, we once again asked Bradford City fan Nikhil Vekaria to give us the lowdown on someone once associated with the Bantams, and he helped us out with a detailed scout report on the 24-year old Proctor:
Jamie Proctor originally signed for Bradford City on a one month loan in January, as part of the deal which saw Devante Cole sign permanently for his old club, Fleetwood Town.
Many eyebrows were raised about the signing at the time, with a lot fans not happy that the club were bringing in another striker with a patchy goal scoring record and one who’d struggled to get into the side at a team battling relegation. However, the 23-year old scored on his Bantams, debut in a 1-1 draw away at Port Vale, and went on to finish the season with six goals, stepping in well on many occasions for the injured James Hanson.
Proctor also scored away at Millwall in the play-off second leg and proved his worth to the side with many hard working, man of the match performances, which endeared him to the club’s faithful. Serious doubts remained over the now 24-year old’s ability to become the regular scorer that so many lower league teams crave, but he has proven himself as a very good outlet, with the potential to be more than just a lower league target man.
With a full season under his belt he would probably be expected to hit 15 league goals.
Proctor is a 6ft2in striker, whose main strength is his ability to act as a target man and outlet for the team. He is often the target of a long ball and will be asked to hold it up for other players to come into the game.
Despite his height, he also is deceitfully quick and is a hard working forward who will put pressure onto defenders and make sure they don’t have a comfortable 90 minutes. Proctor can be trusted to give defenders a tough game, even if he doesn’t necessarily get the rub of the green in terms of goal scoring opportunities.
Proctors main strength is his hard working nature. This leads to goal scoring opportunities and puts pressure onto opposition defenders in situations where they may not usually experience it.
He is good at holding up the ball and ain’t half bad with it at his feet for a big man either, meaning that he can bring other players into the game and make goal scoring opportunities for them.
He is a decent finisher and his record at Bradford in his short time for the club was superb, suggesting he’d have got upwards of 15 league goals if he’d spent the whole season with The Bantams. He is also handy at defending set pieces due to his size and strength. He is certainly difficult to knock off the ball, with very few defenders managing to bully him during his time at Valley Parade.
However, doubts still remain over his ability to be a truly regular goal scorer. This is due to his struggles to get into the side at his old club Fleetwood, and he has never had an ‘outstanding’ goal scoring season in his career. He also benefits from having another striker along side him and can often be left isolated up front on his own if he is played as a lone striker.
As he has struggled with goals in the past, he is by no means a guarantee to score regularly and this could frustrate fans. However, he often makes up for these flaws with the nature of his selfless effort and he endeared himself to the Valley Parade faithful with a string of hard working performances.
If you asked most Bradford fans if they wanted Proctor signed as a main attacking threat- the answer would have been a resounding no. However, signed as another option or to play with a more ‘naturally prolific’ striker and most fans would have been begging for him to sign. Proctor is superb at bringing other players into the game and acting as an outlet and for that reason many Bradford fans will be disappointed not to see him sign.
Many saw him as a great option to partner with a quicker, smaller centre forward and if Bolton manage to do that they could get a great partnership going.
Phil Parkinson also managed him during the best spell of his career, turning him from somebody who couldn’t get a game at relegation threatened Fleetwood to leading the line over two play off semi final legs against Millwall in a matter of months. (Albeit James Hanson was injured!).
For the above reasons I believe Proctor could be a superb signing for Bolton, especially if partnered with another more natural goal scorer. I’d have much rather he had signed for Bradford than not.
You can follow Nik on Twitter @NikhilVekaria