Here are my five choices for who Bolton Wanderers should be looking to sign ahead of next season in each of the chosen categories.
As I’m writing this, Wanderers have already managed to seal contract renewals for many of those who we had on the books from last season and only a familiar names remain outstanding. Based on my player of the year nomination, it’d be logical for me to say Jay Spearing, however, with the skipper being a popular choice amongst the other writers, for me it would have to be Max Clayton. I’ve written an article on him before and the value of having him at the club when fit, despite the masses who are comfortable with him departing based on his injury record, I still have faith in Max to come good should he be given a run in the team and if he is able to stay fit.
League One Player
When I was drafting this piece, there were a few names which had cropped up to me as players who we really should be looking to sign based on their performances against us both home and away. However, once again, many of these have either already been snapped up or renewed by their respective clubs. With the few that remain on the transfer list and un-contracted from which I have to chose from, I would have to say Jermaine Pennant. Most recently contracted to Bury, but spent most of his career at Stoke and being a thorn in our sides, Pennant is a tricky winger who is one of those players who is horrible to face but would be a real asset to have, particularly with his experience at the top level.
This is an easy one for me, Scott Parker. I’ve always liked him as a player, a excellent midfield maestro, Parker is a calm and composed playmaker whose experience at both Premier League and Championship level would be extremely useful to us. Now low on numbers in the middle, Scott would be an ideal signing and one who I could see forming an excellent partnership with Spearing (should we re-sign him) and Jem Karacan.
Premier League Loanee
Now this is the category where reality is an impossible task, where there is an inevitability of extreme optimism and where ‘in an ideal world’ comes to mind. Tut at me and mock me all you like, but considering that all my initial ideas have already been used and that this category warrants some laughable content, Kelechi Iheanacho is who I have gone with, Ladies and Gentlemen. The Manchester City forward, who has already got one of the best goals to playtime ratios ever in the Premier League, is what we need and is maybe not completely a daft choice, hear me out. With the arrival of Gabriel Jesus at City and their frontline now being dominated by the Brazilian and Sergio Agüero, Kelechi isn't getting a look in and whilst Parky’s still looking to bolster his front line, Kelechi would be perfect (if we could just ignore his wages).
Time Machine Signing
Now at first, it seemed there was only one answer, Jay Jay Okocha. However, with him once again being a popular choice with the other writers, again, I’ve tried to be original. Kevin Davies, right? If only we still had Super Kev leading the line, backing into defenders, fighting for every loose ball and having the determination to win every 50/50. In my ten years or so as a Bolton supporter, since Okocha, Kevin Davies was, in my opinion, our best player, by far. Oh what I’d give to have him back for next season.
And that concludes my shopping list, some genuine possibilities, some nostalgia and some very hopeful punts too, but overall not bad.
Let me know what you think and who you’d be having lining up for us on August 5th below.