Bradley in: As things stand, is this Bolton Wanderers’ best XI as 22/23 season approaches?
Bolton Wanderers enjoyed an impressive return to League One during the 2021/22 season. Following promotion from League Two the previous season, Ian Evatt’s side impressed with an eventual ninth place finish in the third-tier standings. That is something they will be looking to push on from in the coming campaign, where breaking into the play-off places may well be on the agenda. A strong summer in the transfer market will likely be key to that, but here, we’ve taken a look at the best starting XI that Evatt could name, based on the players who are currently on the books at Bolton. In goal, Manchester City’s James Trafford should take the number one spot, after returning to Bolton on a season-long loan, following his impressive temporary spell with the club earlier in the year. At centre back, the new contract given to captain Ricardo Almeida Santos is a key piece of business for the Trotters, with the George Johnston the club’s other established option at the heart of defence. There are two new signings in the full-back roles, in the form of Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley on the right, and Jack Iredale, a permanent signing from Cambridge, on the left. Kieran Lee’s experience could again be important in the centre of the park, while Josh Sheehan’s long awaited return from injury will certainly be welcome at Bolton, not least due to his set-piece prowess. Out wide, having top scored with 12 league goals last season, while also chipping in with four assists, Dapo Afolayan is a no brainer to start for Bolton, provided they see of any potential interest in the winger. On the other side of the pitch, Elias Kachunga also made a positive impact during his first campaign with Bolton, so he too gets the nod in this side. Upfront, with Dion Charles (eight) and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (seven) having scored 15 league goals between them for Bolton after joining in January, they are the pair who look well set to lead the line for Bolton going forward into the new season. Source