League One club Bolton Wanderers faced a fight to keep hold of their prized asset Zach Clough last January. The club managed to do it successfully and it was their best bit of business of the winter window of last season. The relegation from the Championship has made things even worse and it seems like this January, the Trotters won’t be that lucky in keeping the highly rated forward at the Macron Stadium.
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 turned heads in the Championship in 2014/15 season when he scored 5 goals from 8 games for Bolton, 6 from 10 in all competitions. It made everybody sit up and take note and in the next season, the attacker became an integral part of the manager Neil Lenon’s side starting 25 of his 28 appearances scoring 7 goals.
This year, he has bagged 7 goals already from 16 matches in League One and is once again being linked with some Premier League clubs. According to the grapevine, amongst clubs that are interested are Championship contenders Leeds United and Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic.
Capable of playing both as a striker, or as a withdrawal forward, 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 what makes him difficult 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-around creative player. Despite his young age, the 21-year old’s ability to provide moments of real quality is very impressive.
The area which needs some improvement are related with his physical stature. At 5 ft 7in, Clough doesn’t possess much of a threat when it comes to aerial duels. His fragility often thus results in him being pushed out of the game by a strong, quick centre back, during the challenges.
his is an area of his game that he will be keen to improve on, but with age, he will naturally become physically stronger. Nevertheless, the forward still manages to make enough impact when he is on the field, just like he did in last Sunday’s 3-2 FA Cup victory over Sheffield United.
Arka Tarun Mukherjee
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