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Goal Machine Madine solves Bolton’s goalscorer dilemma

The big man could be the first Bolton striker to score more than 10 goals in a season in nearly a decade

Bolton Wanderers v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship
Big Gaz Madine has found the scoring touch in recent weeks
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Way back in pre-season I wrote an article lamenting our ongoing lack of a goalscorer and created a list of potential candidates to fill that berth. Little did I know that we had just the man to end that hunt lying in wait within our ranks.

A player often tarnished with the nickname “Washing Machine” and jokingly labelled as a ‘goal machine’ by his own supporters has thrown it back in our faces with his remarkable recent form in front of goal.

Despite not scoring in ten consecutive games between mid-August and the end of October, Madine is now the joint 12th top scorer in The Championship with nine goals and 5 assists to boot. This is thanks to an excellent run of three goals in the last four games, and six in the last seven games since the beginning of December. Madine is truly on fire.

Interestingly, he’s also had the second most shots at goal in the league this season with 52 - a total only bettered by Wolves’ Diego Jota’s 56, who has only scored two more goals than Madine. Looking up to the Premier League, only three players have managed more shots at goal: Harry Kane (82), Mohamed Salah (66) and Sergio Aguero (54). So he’s in decent company.

Given he’s taken so much stick from his own fans, it’s great to see Madine hitting form and beginning to find the back of the net. The goal against Sheffield United was particularly nice to see, as it shows he’s beginning to think like a real goal poacher and getting into goalscoring positions - which should hopefully help his relatively poor shot on target ratio of 50%.

I thought it’d be interesting to compare Madine’s goalscoring feats this season with the potential replacements I listed in the article at the start of the season. And it makes for interesting reading.

Madine v Potential Striker Options

Player Club Appearances Goals
Player Club Appearances Goals
Gary Madine Bolton 26 9
Adam Le Fondre Bolton 17 1
Darren Bent Derby 0 0
Yaya Sanogo Toulouse 10 1
Devante Cole Fleetwood Town 26 10
Chris Willock Benfica 0 0
Billy Sharp Sheffield United 20 8

Oh yes, Madine has more goals than Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp this season, admittedly in more games played.

More goals please Gaz

Just over a year ago I also wrote an article questioning whether we were enduring Bolton’s worst ever strikeforce. Madine had mustered just three goals in 18 appearances, alongside the truly useless Jamie Proctor and Keshi Anderson, but it seems as though the big striker is finally beginning to settle at Championship level, and it’s brilliant to see.

Hopefully, big Gaz can continue his joy in front of goal and surpass a long-standing Bolton goalscoring milestone. No Wanderers player has scored more than ten goals in a season since Chris Eagles notched 12 in 2012/13, but more worryingly no striker has gone beyond ten goals since Kevin Davies hit 12 in 2008/09.

Can Madine keep hitting the back of the net to smash that trend and keep us in The Championship this season?