Filling the Juke's shoes
As we all know, fans' favourite and transfer target Lukas Jutkiewicz has signed for Burnley. We were hoping to sign him following a successful loan spell last season. We had a similar problem at the end of the prior season when we were unable to land Craig Dawson from West Brom on a permanent deal. (Burnley have signed Jutkiewicz and Dawson also looks set to join Turf Moor, cheers Sean Dyche…)
However, without Dawson other players who hadn't featured much stepped up. Players like Matt Mills and Tim Ream knew that their place in the team was insecure and they both had something to prove. The two of them had much improved seasons- the former was our Player of the Year.
We obviously can't afford a big name replacement for Jutkiewicz. However, we need someone to replace him up front in that target man role. We previously had N'Gog who I thought would've possibly been able to as he was decent at holding the up the ball- but he started to find some form before the arrival of Jutkiewicz and left for Swansea City. Some names are being thrown around, but we're yet to see who Dougie'll make a move for.
Jutkiewicz is one of few strikers at this level who have the physical attributes to play as a target man, but also have ability on the ball.
Although his time at Bolton so far hasn`t been a huge success, I think Craig Davies has the potential to fill the big gap left by the former Middlesbrough man. This isn't me saying that I think Davies will have a brilliant season and score 25 goals and bag 15 assists, but I think his and Jutkiewicz's games have significant
Craig Davies has had a decent pre-season and has been among the action. He definitely has a point to prove and whether or not he does succeed is left to be seen. We has similar hopes with Sordell last season, before he was shipped out on loan to Charlton. It hasn't been made completely clear whether or not Craig Davies will play his football at the Macron stadium next season, though as Dougie could be looking to replace him.
Another relatively similar player to Jutkiewicz contracted to the club is Tom Eaves, signed by Owen Coyle after scoring a hat trick against an awful Bolton side. I don't think Coyle knew much about him other than the fact that he scored against his team in a highly uncompetitive friendly. Eaves had good loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury, but has failed to impress recently. Not playing well in lower leagues suggests that he certainly doesn't have what it takes at the moment. However, Sunderland man Connor Wickham was playing poorly in the Championship at Leeds before starring for his parent club in the Premier League, effectively saving them from relegation. Eaves did participate in pre-season training in Scandinavia and this probably means his time at Bolton is up.
Replacing Lukas Jutkiewicz will be very hard for both Dougie Freedman should he try to sign a replacement and for whoever tries to step up. Whoever Jutkiewicz's replacement is will have a very, very big job on their hands having to fill the shoes of a popular and successful player at Bolton.
WRITTEN BY NICKY CROMPTON.
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