Marcus Maddison arrived at Bolton Wanderers on loan from Charlton Athletic to great fanfare. The fans were excited, the club twitter account was excited. We were all excited.
Ian Evatt’s team which, at the time, was struggling somewhat for inspiration, had found their maverick. Ian Evatt’s team had found their creative and inspirational spark in the form of an attacking player from a higher division who arrived at the club with something to prove.
Well, that definitely happened, but that maverick most certainly isn’t Marcus Maddison.
Step forward Dapo Afolayan.
I confess to never having heard of him before he signed, but without doubt Dapo has become the key to our attacking hopes. Since joining on loan from West Ham United, the forward has played across the front line and been really impressive no matter where he has lined up. With an attacking verve not seen in these parts for may a season, Dapo has the skill, the pace and the direct approach that opposition defenders clearly hate and clearly cannot cope with.
I’ve been really impressed with his build-up play and his ability to attack the ball in key spaces on the front foot. Lloyd Isgrove has his plus points but he’s not half as dynamic as Dapo and the loanee is very much worthy of his place in the side. I would love us to make his move permanent and hope that he continues in this rich vein of form. All that’s missing is a goal from his game and whilst he’s come really close lately it just hasn’t quite happened.
We’ve got a maverick on our hands. It’s not the one we expected, but it’s definitely the one we needed.