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We mark how every Bolton Wanderers player played in the 2020/21 League Two season

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IT has been a season of wild contrast at Wanderers as a record-breaking slow start gave way to an equally unprecedented fine finish, which saw Ian Evatt’s side achieve their promotion goal.

In all, 37 players turned out for the club in league and cup, including several loanees, and here will give our official verdict on how they did.

From Dapo Afolayan to Tom White, here are The Bolton News’ official match marks for the 2020/21 season.

Starts – 19, Sub apps – 2, Goals – 1.

Quick feet, a good attitude and bags of potential. At 23 Dapo needs to be playing games and there will be plenty of Bolton fans hoping he accepts an offer to return to the UniBol next season.

Mark: 7.5 out of 10.

Starts – 0, Sub apps – 1, Goals – 0.

The young striker had looked promising in pre-season but played 20 minutes in defeat at home to Forest Green early on and was never seen again. More to come, perhaps?

Mark: 5 out of 10.

Starts – 40, Sub apps – 2, Goals – 0.

Given a cautious welcome back to the club and not helped by Bolton’s rocky start but what a turnaround. His no-nonsense defending was pivotal to the resurgence and his influence on Ricardo Santos was clear.

Mark: 8.5 out of 10.

Starts – 14, Sub apps – 5, Goals - 0

Exemplary attitude and perhaps unlucky not to have played more this season. Showed he can play as an attacking full-back as well as a centre half and earned the manager’s trust in some big games.

Mark: 6.5 out of 10.

Starts – 8, Sub apps – 6, Goals – 0.

Didn’t live up to expectations. Comley looked a good fit for Evatt’s midfield and despite being economic with the ball his habit of conceding cheap fouls around the penalty box put undue pressure on the side.

Mark: 4 out of 10.

Starts – 19, Sub apps – 5, Goals – 1.

One of last season’s bright hopes, it was to everyone’s delight that he agreed to stay on in the summer. The Scot failed to get anywhere near his previous levels, though, and was loaned out to Tranmere.

Starts – 16, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 0.

A loan signing from Fleetwood that – if we are honest – nearly cost Bolton their season. Simply not experienced enough for such an important position and rightly benched in favour of Gilks.

Mark: 4 out of 10.

Starts – 4, Sub apps – 7, Goals – 0.

One of the Junior Whites who many tipped to push on to bigger things this season. It didn’t quite happen for him – with Evatt insisting he still needs further development – but let nobody down when he featured.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 23, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 2.

Had it not been for a ridiculous red card at Tranmere the season might have panned out very differently for the big Irishman. Scored a crucial goal at Cheltenham but watched the last few months from the sidelines after a switch in system paired Baptiste and Santos.

Mark: 6.5 out of 10.

Starts – 36, Sub apps – 11, Goals – 8.

One of the few Wanderers players whose first half of the season was better than the second. Delfouneso scored some important goals early on but his effectiveness wore off, especially in the number 10 role.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 45, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 19.

Bought as a difference maker and stayed that way to the end. Didn’t quite make that magical 20-goal marker but worked tirelessly for each and every one of his strikes. Class from start to finish.

Mark: 8 out of 10.

Starts – 2, Sub apps – 12, Goals – 0.

A real threat when he turned on the afterburners. Improved after a difficult debut, even if he would have wanted more time on the pitch after his switch from Lincoln City.

Mark: 5.5 out of 10.

Starts – 35, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 0.

Wanderers were simply a different animal when he took the keeper’s gloves from Crellin in November. Made some big saves – but more importantly kept those in front of him in check.

Mark: 8 out of 10.

Starts – 7, Sub apps – 23, Goals – 3.

Started as a marriage of convenience – Bolton wasn’t far from him home, after all – but the winger ended up being a real surprise package. Very effective off the bench.

Mark: 6.5 out of 10.

Starts – 9, Sub apps – 6, Goals – 0.

May ultimately have had the raw ingredients to be a wing-back in Evatt’s early 3-4-1-2 system but just did not have the experience for League Two. Don’t rule Gordon out completely yet, though.

Mark: 5 out of 10.

Starts – 4, Sub apps – 3, Goals – 0.

Never looked likely to get a run in the side but deserves a pat on the back for his stint as an emergency left-back at Cheltenham. Hard to see where he goes from here.

Mark: 4.5 out of 10.

Starts – 0, Sub apps – 1, Goals – 0.

Replaced Lloyd Isgrove for the last 17 minutes of the EFL Trophy win against Newcastle United. Another young gun who could well make a bigger impact in time.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 6, Sub apps – 1, Goals – 1.

Won plenty of Bolton fans over with his attitude in the early months of the season. Yes, Evatt went in a different direction, and Hickman saw out the season on loan at King’s Lynn but deserves some credit.

Mark: 5.5 out of 10.

Starts – 22, Sub apps – 12, Goals – 3.

Really came good for Wanderers at the end of the season, where his work-rate shone through. Proved vital to Evatt’s counter-pressing style and even found some goals in the end.

Mark: 7.5 out of 10.

Starts – 5, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 1.

Will always be remembered by Bolton fans for his winner against Morecambe. A little unlucky to be competing for a place in the side with Declan John. Promising career ahead of him.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 19, Sub apps – 2, Goals – 2.

Looked a class above at League Two level after coming to Bolton to revive his career from Swansea City. Big decision to make in the summer and will have offers… But won’t be appreciated anywhere more than the UniBol.

Mark: 8 out of 10.

Starts – 38, Sub apps – 2, Goals – 3.

While many in the squad had highs and lows, Jones was Wanderers’ Mr Consistent, rarely letting the side down at all. Yes, there are attacking areas he can improve but as solid a customer as you’d wish to see.

Mark: 8 out of 10.

Starts – 14, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 3.

Thinking back, it seems a heavy blow when Kioso was recalled by Luton Town and loaned out immediately to Northampton Town in League One. Made a good impact at Bolton – but thankfully proved replaceable.

Mark: 6.5 out of 10.

Starts – 20, Sub apps – 2, Goals – 0.

The quiet man made a swift impact on Bolton’s season, underlining his pedigree. With a full pre-season behind him, Wanderers can probably expect even more next season.

Mark: 7.5 out of 10.

Starts – 1, Sub apps – 1, Goals – 0.

Only saw a brief amount of him in the first team but reports from the Under-18s suggest a real talent. Unfortunately injured late in the season – but will hopefully come back stronger.

Mark: 5 out of 10.

Starts – 21, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 0.

Assumed the role of Wanderers’ midfield ‘ratter’ but the former Liverpool academy midfielder was actually much more cultured than that. Good in the air, good range of passing and strong as an ox.

Mark: 7.5 out of 10.

Starts – 4, Sub apps – 6, Goals – 0.

The headline arrival on transfer deadline day but behind the scenes, all was not well for the Charlton loanee. Maddison struggled away from him family and the sensible decision was reached to let him return.

Mark: 5 out of 10.

Starts – 3, Sub apps – 6, Goals – 1.

Didn’t end up as the answer to Bolton’s left-sided problems and finished up the season on loan at Waterford in Ireland. The former Wycombe man may be the only player to get successive promotions with two Wanderers, though.

Mark: 5 out of 10.

Starts – 1, Sub apps – 22, Goals – 4.

A natural finisher by the looks of it and scored some important goals for the Whites as an impact sub, earning him the nickname ‘Ole Gunnar Miller’ in reference to the ex-United striker.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 0, Sub apps – 1, Goals – 0.

Replaced Tom White at Shrewsbury and drew some admiring glances from the Bolton fans for his composure on the ball. One for the future, for sure, but sadly in the colours of Norwich.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 48, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 0.

Looked all at sea in a back three early on – then improved at a dramatic rate of knots. Played every minute. How the big man did not make League Two’s team of the year is completely beyond us.

Mark: 8.5 out of 10.

Starts – 22, Sub apps – 12, Goals – 3.

Went through the mill with the team he led but one of the summer’s marquee signings proved his class in the end. A real captain’s display at Crawley and League Two team of the year for the promotion specialist.

Mark: 8 out of 10.

Starts – 1, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 1.

What a shame it was that Bolton fans could not have seen one of their own score at Shrewsbury. A dyed-in-the-wool Wanderer who has been one of the unsung heroes behind the scenes.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 5, Sub apps – 0, Goals – 0.

Fans argued that Taft had been given a raw deal by Evatt when he was farmed out to Scunthorpe after a handful of games. The defender never found a niche but will unquestionably push on in League Two.

Mark: 5 out of 10.

Starts – 18, Sub apps – 7, Goals – 1.

The story of an unheralded teenager loaned out to Northern Premier Bamber Bridge who finished the season as a starter in the promotion-clincher at Crawley is one you could barely dream up. But it happened.

Mark: 8 out of 10.

Starts – 13, Sub apps – 7, Goals – 0.

Made some important contributions in mid-season when Wanderers’ midfield looked defensively suspect. The arrival of Williams and Lee pushed him to the bench, though.

Mark: 6 out of 10.

Starts – 9, Sub apps – 5, Goals – 0.

Played well under Evatt at Barrow but the Blackburn loanee just didn’t get going at Bolton, lacking the necessary physicality. Finished the season at National League Hartlepool.

Mark: 5 out of 10.

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