When Bradford City gained the signing of ex-Manchester City youth product Devante Cole, they were essentially hoping that his footballing pedigree was the key factor in the signing. They weren’t wrong you know.
Since signing for the Bantams, Devante Cole, the son of ex-Manchester United star Andy Cole, has basically hit the ground running…and scoring, the 20-year old notching five goals in his opening eight League One games – scoring at the rate of a goal every 121 minutes. His footballing pedigree is without doubt and neither are the lessons that he has learned from his footballing schooling at Manchester City, a schooling that has seen the youngster represent England at all ages ranges from U-16 to U-19. Internationally, for England, the young king Cole has scored seven goals in 17 games – a more than decent return.
The thing is, should Devante Cole keep up this rich seam of scoring, will vultures from the upper English divisions start to circle around Valley Parade, their beady eyes trained on the free-scoring, jet-heeled youngster? There are 12 games left for the Bantams before the 2015 portion of their League One season is over and done with and the 2016 segment of it opens with the new transfer window. Should Devante Cole keep scoring at the rate of a goal every 121 minutes, as he is at the moment, then he could very well have notched up another nine goals – essentially giving him potentially 14 goals at the halfway point of the season.
My point is very simple: should Devante Cole be anywhere near this level of scoring entering the January transfer window’s opening, will there be any realistic chance that the Bantams can keep hold of him or is he bound for a higher league team?
Five Championship clubs who might benefit from a Cole delivery
Bolton – 24th place
If Bolton are stuck at the base of the Championship table much longer then they’ll likely take root. As of week 11 of the Championship campaign the Lancastrians have managed to disturb the onion bag only nine times with midfielder Liam Feeney the leading scorer on three goals. Further up the field, the only forward to score is Gary Madine who has scored twice. Teams around this end of the table could very well benefit from a goal injection such as that provided by the output of Devante Cole, should his goal-scoring form continue.
Rotherham – 23rd place
Should new manager Neil Redfearn be here or hereabouts come January then he might be tempted to take a punt on youngster Cole. Redfearn has a pedigree with developing young talent such as Devante Cole from his time in charge at Leeds United’s famed academy at Thorp Arch. Rotherham have two scoring forwards in Johnson Clark-Harris and Matt Derbyshire who have scored three and two goals respectively. When teams are struggling for goals, as Rotherham might be come the turn of the new year, then the arrival of a fresh striker with pace and an eye for goal might just be the key for
Preston – 22nd place
Preston couldn’t buy a goal if they were on sale in ALDI at the moment, scoring only seven times so far this season. None of their forwards has marked a goal and the only scoring positions on the pitch are Preston’s midfield with Jamaican Daniel Johnson leading the way with four goals. A player like Devante Cole could very well be what Preston need to reinvigorate them and spark them away from the lower reaches of the Championship. A player with pace, speed and youth could be just what the Lilywhites need to supplement older players like Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner; the goals might be needed come the transfer window.
Charlton – 20th place
Whilst not really one of the lowest scoring teams in the lower reaches of the Championship, having scored 11 goals, Charlton do have only three of those goals scored by recognised forwards – Scottish forward Tony Watt scoring two and Dane Simon Makienok scoring one. Whilst the Addicks are currently two places above the relegation zone, the lack of goals from recognised forwards could very well be a twist of the arm that forces them to look elsewhere for the firepower that drives them away from the sucking quagmire of a relegation battle which by January usually sees teams being dragged into the relegation battle from the fringes of the relegation zone.
Leeds United – 18th place
Ah the enigma that is Leeds United. With what goes on at the club, you cannot rule anything out – even the purchase of a Legue one striker – albeit one in the goals. Leeds have scored 10 goals so far this term, seven of them being from the forward duo of New Zealand international Chris Wood, who has scored four goals, and Italian Mirco Antenucci, who has scored three. It’s the consistency of scoring that has been a worry for the Whites since the departure of 40-goal duo Ross McCormack (28 goals) and Matt Smith (12 goals) before the start of the 2014/15 campaign. This sense of alarm, plus the way that Leeds United integrate youth into their set up, could very well be a factor that would lead to the Elland Road outfit looking favourably at a young striker like Devante Cole.