Bulls fans haven’t had a lot to shout about this season, especially at the time of his arrival, but he started to provide some of the bright points to our performances. A willing worker, with pace to scare the average League Two defender, he was regularly deployed wide and allowed to dart into the box whenever it took his fancy. We’ve changed our footballing philosophy since his arrival, from a passing team to a more direct John Beck-esque style since former Preston boss Gary Peters’ ‘Director of Football’ appointment, but it only seems to have allowed the teenager even more free rein to bomb into the box at will chasing down the ever-longer balls pumped forward.
He’s been used primarily as a winger, mainly on the right but has been known to switch sides during games, as we often tended to field one lump of a striker up top and rely on the wingers to come in and feed off his knock-downs. His finishing has been second to none, literally. His record of converting shots to goals beats out any of the top scorers in the division comfortably, making him our clear top scorer despite getting little more than one shot per match on average. His crossing has also been good, but he will often loft dangerous balls into spaces our strikers haven’t had time to get into yet. He probably needs to learn to let his team mates catch him up!
Is he good enough for the Championship? Probably not yet. He’s barely turned 19 and is growing in confidence in every game, but such a leap is probably too far just now. Come the end of the season, at this rate of improvement, he’ll be ready for the step up but another six months learning the game against some of the wily old pros (and the quite obvious underhand tactics to stop him) in League Two will be a much better education than the odd reserve match could manage. He’s probably capable of League One now, but we don’t really want that to happen.