After a few seasons of struggle, Bolton have now become a prominent and impressive team in League One under the guidance of Ian Evatt.
Last campaign they were promoted back into the third tier of English football and looked extremely bright and they’ve carried that good form over into the league above them.
They’re already seventh in the table and might consider themselves dark horses for a potential play-off place (and promotion) based on how the season has gone so far.
They’ve snatched some decent results and the players themselves have looked rather impressive. With that being said, here is our best starting XI for the side based on their first 11 fixtures.
Bolton – 4-2-3-1
GK – Joel Dixon
The 27-year old has been relatively sold for his team so far this season, as he has racked up two clean sheets to his name so far and can even boast a penalty save. Dixon isn’t always at his best but he’s a steady pair of hands and is more than reliable enough in the sticks for Bolton. With 200 appearances for Barrow before his move, he’s well-versed in EFL and non-league football and he’s continued to do well in the third tier.
RB – Gethin Jones
The defender is another decent asset for the newly-promoted side to have, as he has proven he is good at getting forward and helping out his teammates further up the field but at the same time doesn’t compromise his defensive work.
With two assists in 11 so far, the Welshman has shown his ability in League One already and has already featured in over 50 Bolton games.
CB – Ricardo Santos
One man who has Bolton fans buzzing is Ricardo Santos.
The jump up hasn’t fazed him in the slightest, as he has been an absolute rock and solid at the back each time he has featured for Wanderers. The centre-back plays with style and always knows what job needs be done – and then does it very well. A mainstay in the side, he had to feature in this XI.
CB – George Johnston
Yet another every present in the side is George Johnston. He’s formed a superb backline with his Portuguese teammate so far and can offer more than just defensive stability.
With the most passes in the club’s game against Shrewsbury game, it shows that the player can play out from the back and get the ball out the rest of his team with ease (as well as doing his defensive work well to boot). He’s proven to be a solid signing from Feyenoord already.
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LB – Declan John
The 26-year old looked decent enough during his loan at Bolton last year to warrant the club bringing him over on a full-time basis over the summer.
Since sealing the switch, he has continued where he left off with some commanding displays on the left. The Welshman is certainly a good option for the League One outfit and is yet another who can go and put a shift in defensively but also likes to get forward and help his teammates out at the other end of the field.
CM – MJ Williams
Onto the midfield now and our first pick is a no nonsense workhorse of a player in MJ Williams.
He is defensively sound and has the valuable skill in a midfielder of being good at screening the opposition’s play and breaking down their attacks.
He doesn’t just make stops for his side though, as he has contributed two assists from the middle of the pitch.
CM – Kieran Lee
Kieran Lee has absolutely looked the part whenever he has featured for Wanderers so far this season. Sheffield Wednesday decided to let him go but the Owls loss is most definitely Ian Evatt’s gain. With nine games under his belt so far, he already has five goal contributions.
That’s the sign of a man that is dictating the play from the middle of the field, almost like a quarterback in American Football. If it’s a good day for him, then it’s often a good day for his side. He’s already proven to be a vital Bolton player this season.
RW – Elias Kachunga
The former Huddersfield man has played in all 11 games so far this season and it shows his importance to the manager and the team.
Another to be snapped up from Sheffield Wednesday, the winger isn’t exactly prolific but his two assists show his ability to help the team in other ways and bring his teammates into the action.
CAM – Antoni Sarcevic
Another impressive creative force in this line-up is Sarcevic.
With four goal contributions in 11, he’s another who offers a lot to Bolton and can contribute in a multitude of ways. Despite his age – and the amount of time he has spent in the EFL – he is still arguably one of the best in the league. His vision remains impeccable and hasn’t dropped off and on a good day, he can control games by himself.
LW – Oladapo Afolayan
Up next is Wanderer’s current top scorer – and what an exciting prospect he is.
With six goals in just 11 games, he has already made his club’s fans (and the rest of League One) sit up and take notice of him. The player joined on a free from West Ham and is already causing havoc and the Hammers might regret letting him go.
He’s definitely one to watch as the campaign draws on and if he can keep up his goalscoring feats, he could certainly fire Bolton into a play-off place.
ST – Eoin Doyle
The final player to make this starting Xi is Eoin Doyle.
The former Preston North End man is superb at this level. He’s already bagged three goals this year (with one assist) and since his move to the League One side has scored 23 in total.
He was a good addition to most EFL sides before the move and he has only got better since.He continues to lead the line well and provides another solid threat in front of goal.