Keeping hold of Zach Clough was arguably Bolton Wanderer’s best bit of business in this season’s January transfer window. The 20 year old striker had been attracting interest from a host of clubs from both the Championship and the Premier League, and when you consider their financial situation, it was somewhat surprising they didn’t cash in on the youngster. However, with Bolton currently lying 7 points from safety, Clough’s form from now until the end of the season may have a huge say in whether or not Bolton avoid the dreaded drop.
Zach Clough joined the Trotters when he was just 8 years old and has played for them ever since. He gradually worked his way through the ranks in Bolton’s academy for 11 years, before scoring on his debut in a 1-0 home win against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Clough is predominantly a striker, but he can also be deployed in the ‘hole’, just behind the centre forward. He has made 15 appearances thus far this season, scoring 3 goals.
The 20 year old is an assured, quick and agile young man who has the confidence to run at defenders in an attempt to commit them. This direct, exuberant approach is refreshing to see, and is what makes him a nightmare to defend against. Clough is also extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet, he has an excellent first touch and also possesses the eye for a pass, making him an all-round creative player. When considering said attributes, it is clear that Clough can create something out of nothing, which can often be the difference in football matches.
An area of Clough’s game that isn’t a particular strong point is his lack of a physical presence. At 5 ft 7 he doesn’t possess much of a threat when it comes to aerial duals. In addition to this, due to his fragility, he can sometimes be pushed out of the game by a strong, quick centre back. This is an area of his game that he will be keen to improve on, but with age he will naturally become physically stronger.
Zach Clough could have a major influence on the future of Bolton, both on and off the pitch. If he performs consistently to the best of his ability for the rest of the campaign, he could create the chances and score the goals to keep Wanderers up. However, if they do get relegated and reluctantly sell Clough, the money they would receive could go a long way in stabilising and rebuilding Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
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