At the end of last season Bolton lost two of the team’s top scorers, Johan Elmander on a free to Galatasaray, and Daniel Sturridge who was on loan from Chelsea, and replacing them was seen as key by all if Bolton were to continue with the progress that they have made so far under Coyle.
The squad now has five recognised forward players in the shape of Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic, David N’Gog, Tuncay Sanli and Gael Kakuta, who is on loan from Chelsea. Coyle has seemingly added well and struck a good balance of attributes among the forwards available to him. With leading forward and captain Kevin Davies you get exactly what it says on the tin – powerful, committed performances with serious aerial prowess.
Ivan Klasnic looks to have struck up a decent partnership with Davies so far this campaign, and has found himself on the score sheet in each of their three Premier League fixtures played so far this season.
New signing N’Gog offers Bolton something a little bit different up front. Despite N’Gog’s rather unflattering strike record for former club Liverpool, with nine goals in 63 Premier League appearances, this is a player of undoubted ability. With Coyle gaining something of a reputation for nurturing young players, the 22-year-old French striker will be delighted with this move.
Tuncay and Kakuta both offer Coyle further variation. Neither can really be considered out-and-out centre forwards, each with the ability to occupy the wings and more attacking midfield roles rather than leading the line. These options can prove vital to a manager, and allow Coyle to play either a two-man strike force, a front three with Davies, N’Gog or Klasnic through the middle and Tuncay and Kakuta wide, or either the Turk or the Frenchman playing off a more orthodox target man.
Whilst Davies, Tuncay and Klasnic can provide the experience, Kakuta and N’Gog add a healthy dose of youthful exuberance to Bolton’s attacking options. Both players also add real pace to the front line, which should add some more variety to the attack with two bigger men in Klasnic and Davies.
With very little money going into the market this year it was always going to be tough for Coyle and it seemed certain that they would be forced to part ways with Gary Cahill in order to raise enough cash. Despite this, Coyle has kept hold of his star man and performed admirably in his dealings. However, now the speculation is over and the window is shut, it is time to see how this Bolton side shapes up on the pitch.