Currently sitting in 15th, it would be fair to say Bolton Wanderers have had a mixed start to life back in League One, picking up 26 points in 22 games.
Last season after 22 games Bolton also sat 15th in the table but in the division below after a dramatic late comeback at Carlisle United.
There are many similarities between this season and last for the Trotters and they will be hoping to emulate the same ending after a scintillating second half to the season they clinched automatic promotion on the final day after, an excellent January transfer window including the signing of their now star player Dapo Afolayan.
Here we look at Bolton Wanderers’ 2021/22 season so far…
Bolton have not had too many standout performers this season but the players who have performed well in the team have been very impressive.
Bolton’s Player of the Season so far has to be Afolayan – he has nine goals and three assists in 24 games this season, and has been the shining light in a team who have struggled for form lately. Afolayan has also been not just one of Bolton’s best players but one of the better players in the league in his position.
In the midfield Bolton have former Blackpool man MJ Williams who has been one of the better players this season for Bolton.
A third player who has been impressing for the Whites is Lloyd Isgrove who has been moved around the pitch due to the injuries in the full-back position he has played on the right wing and at right-back and has impressed in both positions.
As well as the names who have stood out there also have been others who have under-performed expectations.
Rico Santos who was Bolton’s Player of the Season last year and is now the current club captain. But he’s recently seen a drop in form this season, most likely due to lack of protection and help has left the Portuguese exposed a lot this season.
Another who has under-performed is Eoin Doyle who has missed many clear cut chances which has cost his team points, though maybe some competition in the form of a January signing could see Doyle improve his form.
Areas to improve?
Considering Evatt’s men are 15th in the table with 29 goals and 33 conceded Wanderers are very mid table in those particular statistics so plenty of room for improvement.
A main area for concern is the amount of goals Bolton are letting in due to poor defending rather than quality play from the opposition. This has been frustrating to watch for Wanderers fans especially because Evatt was a central defender during his playing days.
Another area for for Bolton to improve has to be converting chances because Bolton have averaged to most possession in the league so far this season and they can’t make it count currently. This was a major concern at the start of last season which saw Bolton struggle then as well but will Evatt and his players manage to turn the situation around again this season only time will tell.
Reports are claiming Bolton are close to securing the signature of AFC Wimbledon midfielder Anthony Hartigan (Sun on Sunday, 12.12.21). This would improve Bolton massively with his creative spark in midfield and he has been a key player for AFC Wimbledon this year.
Elsewhere Bolton must look bring a striker into the club during the January window due to the lack of clinical finishing throughout the team so far no concrete links have been made to a particular player but this number nine position must be high on Evatt’s January wish list.
Up next for Bolton is a home game against high flying Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.