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League One outfit Gillingham have signed Bolton Wanderers forward Conor Wilkinson for an undisclosed fee. The two-year deal sees the 22-year-old move after appearing just 16 times for Wanderers having signed for the Trotters from Millwall in summer 2013. The Irish under-21 international has also featured for Chesterfield, Oldham and Newport in loan spells and ends a disappointing time in the North West.
Despite not having massive shoes to fill, Wilkinson still leaves a hole in what at present is a rather thin Bolton squad and will need to be replaced. Here are a couple of options.
Regular transfers between North West clubs are not uncommon, so now that Blackburn and Bolton have swapped places it is easy to envisage the talented Graham jump the ship. Although somewhat inconsistent these days, the former Sunderland and Swansea man has Premier League pedigree and retains plenty of class.
After joining on a free transfer a year ago from Sunderland, Graham kept his fitness enough to manage 35 Championship games during the season, scoring 12 goals and making another 6. His total seasonal figures in fact were 40 games and 13 goals, and he had a hand in a strike every 136 minutes for a relegated club – not something Bolton would pass up on easily.
Newcastle’s England under-20 forward will head back to Tyneside for pre-season training soon, looking for answers on his future. Despite a want from his family for him to stay at the club he supported as a boy, it seems that he will be moved on and another crack at the Championship looks to be about the right level for him now.
Armstrong spent last season on loan at Barnsley where despite starting well, he failed to find his best form and although definitely having more to give, that performance seems to have put paid to his Premier League ambitions for now. Bolton may look to bring him in on a season long loan with a view to a permanent transfer in a year’s time which seems like a wise move.
He can be a deadly finisher and he doesn’t look to be below Championship level to say the least. A reasonable wage offer and the promise of first XI football may be enough to land the young forward and he would be an immediate improvement on Wilkinson.