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Sammy Ameobi: Bolton Wanderers’ Defensive Colossus

A true case of an attacker defending from the front

Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Sammy Ameobi.

You may remember him from a hitherto-underwhelming professional football career taking in stops at Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Cardiff City.

The same Sammy Ameobi who is now both Bolton Wanderers best attacking threat and best defensive asset.

Before you start getting all hot at me, I am talking firmly tongue-in-cheek, but only half so. Ameobi has been on fire for Wanderers since his return from injury a just a few short weeks ago.

Adding goals to his game, the former Newcastle attacker has been nothing short of superb and alongside the likes of Antonee Robinson and Mark Little has been a revelation - undoubtedly key to Wanderers’ revival.

One of the more surprising aspects to his improvement has been, for me, his willingness to do the dirty work in tracking back. Over the years we’ve seen how a failure to carry out this duty has caused unnecessary pressure on Bolton defences who have sometimes struggled to cope *ahem Chris Eagles ahem Tyrone Mears*.

His desire to regain possession and to support his teammates is fantastic to see and shows a maturity to his game that can be credited to Phil Parkinson and his backroom staff who have contributed to turning round the career of someone who appeared, before his time with us, to be drifting.

Well done Sammy.