Ian Evatt’s side dropped into the fourth tier of English football after an emotional and devastating season. Which was over before it had begun for Bolton Wanderers, starting the season on minus thirteen points.
Bolton relied on their youth to carry them through the season, causing a rollercoaster of emotions for themselves and the fans, an unfair demand on both of them.
However, a drastic overhaul has taken place at the University of Bolton Stadium. As the new cast of players is barely recognisable to that which was relegated last season.
Wanderers have merely one game to go before their season commences with a game against Bradford City in the Carabao Cup. Does this new collection of Bolton players have the backbone to win this game, and potentially go on to find themselves back in League One next season?
Let’s have a look at the backbone itself, as we assess the impact of their goalkeeper, a key defender, a key midfielder and a key attacker…
Goalkeeper: Billy Crellin
Bolton have loaned Fleetwood Town’s goalkeeper Billy Crellin for the season. Coming from a decent League One side it is expected that he will cope with the demands of fighting for promotion in the division below.
The incredible shot-stopper is yet to concede a goal in pre-season, putting him in good stead for the season ahead and will likely be their number one throughout.
Defender: Reiss Greenidge
Greenidge is being given another shot to prove himself in English Football. The 24-year-old is a product of Arsenal and West Brom’s youth academy, having his progress stunted by unsuccessful loan spells at Port Vale and Ipswich.
During pre-season, one quality that was duly noted was his abundance in pace, a quality not often accredited to central defenders.
Having such an asset will give freedom of attack to Bolton, particularly on the counter, as they have the comfort of knowing that Greenidge could catch up to almost any threat that could counter themselves.
Midfielder: Antoni Sarcevic
This statement of a signing cost Wanderers in excess of £100,000, bringing the central midfielder from Plymouth Argyle. The 28-year old has had a career in the EFL of scoring and assisting goals from the midfield and has already worn the armband at Bolton.
This player will be key to the structure, quality and temperament of Bolton’s play style for the season to come.
Striker: Nathan Delfouneso
Delfouneso is a recognisable name for those in tune with English football. The 29-year-old has featured across all of the four top-flight divisions, including the Premier League.
Costing the side over £200,000, Delfouneso brings more than just experience to the side.
Delfouneso has found success in League One, where he got most of his goals and assists. This suggests that the striker can be vital to Bolton’s goal tally in the upcoming season in League Two. However, the fact he has scored in four successive games for Bolton so far says enough.