Opinion: Bolton Wanderers should swoop for versatile ex-Wigan defender on a free transfer | OneFootball

Icon: Football League World

Football League World

·10 September 2023

Opinion: Bolton Wanderers should swoop for versatile ex-Wigan defender on a free transfer

Article image:Opinion: Bolton Wanderers should swoop for versatile ex-Wigan defender on a free transfer

After missing out on promotion last year through the EFL play-offs, Bolton Wanderers were among the favourites to be pushing for the automatic spots in League One this season.

The Trotters recruited smartly but not aggressively, bringing in the likes of Will Forrester, Nathan Baxter, Carlos Mendes Gomes and Josh Dacres-Cogley as new arrivals, as well as turning Dan Nlundulu's loan from Southampton into a permanent deal.

OneFootball Videos

The loan market was also explored by manager Ian Evatt, with both Zac Ashworth and Paris Maghoma brought in to add depth to his squad.

And their start to the campaign represents the strong squad they have, sitting second in the table after four wins, a draw and a defeat - the latest victory coming in a 2-1 success over fellow promotion contenders (on paper) Derby County.

Looking at Bolton's squad though, with the EFL Trophy to navigate as well as the league and soon the FA Cup, Evatt may lack some depth in certain areas - mainly in defence.

The right-hand side of the back-line in particular is one that could need to be addressed - Josh Dacres-Cogley is Bolton's only real wing-back option as Gethin Jones is favoured on the right side of a back three, and whilst Will Forrester and Eoin Toal are both right-footed, they could both play on the left-hand side too instead of Jack Iredale.

Naturally, signing a player who can play at wing-back and also in a back three would be ideal for Evatt, and there is a certain player who was on the books of Bolton's bitter rivals Wigan Athletic last season that could be a great option in the form of Ryan Nyambe.

Who is Ryan Nyambe?

Born in the African country of Namibia, Nyambe moved to England at the age of 10 and three years later, he joined Blackburn's academy.

Making his debut at the age of 17 for their first-team, Nyambe played 201 times for the club over a period of seven years, and whilst he never provided much of a goal threat from full-back and didn't notch many assists, he was a willing runner up and down the pitch and was very quick and athletic.

When his contract at Ewood Park expired last summer, Nyambe instead joined Championship rivals Wigan on a one-year deal, where he played at right-back, wing-back, centre-back and also occasionally at left-back too for the Latics.

Ultimately though, despite 32 league appearances, Nyambe couldn't help save Wigan from relegation to League One and he left upon the expiration of his contract this past summer, and he still is yet to find a new club.

Why would Ryan Nyambe be a good signing for Bolton?

The main reason as to why Nyambe would be a useful addition at the Toughsheet Community Stadium is that he provides cover in positions that Evatt needs it the most.

The wing-back spot is needed more-than most for cover, and Nyambe doesn't exactly have a glowing goal contribution record, but in matches where Evatt may need to be defensively more solid, the Namibian would provide something different.

Nyambe also has plenty of experience at Championship level, but dropping down into League One isn't so preposterous considering he is still without a club.

A Championship club could theoretically take a punt on the 25-year-old, but signing for a promotion-chasing League One team is just as good as joining a struggling English second tier side.

It remains to be seen if Evatt does indeed try and boost that area of the pitch, but if he does, Nyambe must be the top target - regardless of his brief connection with Wigan.

View publisher imprint