Keeping Davies the key for Bolton

Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Davies is reportedly a transfer target for Bolton’s Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers.

Davies endured a (very) difficult season for the Rovers way back in 1998/99 after a £7.5million move from Southampton. In his spell with the Rovers Davies scored just once in 24 games and was promptly sent back to Saouthampton in the summer of 1999 in a player swap deal. Needless to say Davies isn’t particularly well liked at Ewood Park and it seems as if a move is fairly unlikely.

In contrast to his Rovers career Davies’ time at Bolton has been a huge success for the player and the club. He arrived in a free transfer in 2003 after being signed by Sam Allardyce, the man who now wants to take him to Blackburn, and quickly established himself in the Bolton first team.

Last season was arguably his most successful on a personal level. He forced his way into England contention, though didn’t make the final squad, and bagged an impressive 12 goals over the course of the campaign. Davies was also given the captain’s arm band after Kevin Nolan departed for Newcastle and has flourished in his new role.

To be perfectly honest, even if Blackburn do table an offer, I just can’t see Davies moving to Ewood Park. He has previously described his spell with Blackburn as one of the darkest times of his career and he certainly receives some stick from the Rovers fans whenever he lines up against them. His form at Bolton has been outstanding and he has been voted the club’s player of the season for the last two seasons and at 32-years-old you would have thought he would stay where he is guaranteed first-team football and the love of the fans.

Bolton resisted the attempts of Hull City last summer as Tigers boss Phil Brown, a former Bolton assistant, tried to persuade Davies to join and it would seem as if they’re ready to reject Blackburn’s advances as well. If they are to build on last season and move up the table they need to keep their key players, with Davies perhaps the most important. His work-rate and ability to hold the ball up are matched by few and if Bolton do let him go I doubt they’ll be able to find a suitable replacement easily.

Bolton boss Gary Megson had one of the smallest squads in the league at his disposal last season and I very much doubt he’ll be willing to let any of his first-team players leave without a fight. Reports have stated a deal for Portsmouth midfielder Sean Davis is all but done but Megson still needs at least five new faces to compete for places and make sure Bolton aren’t involved in the relegation dog-fight come May 2010. Sporting Lisbon’s Miguel Veloso, Liverpool youngster Adam Hammill and West Brom full-back Paul Robinson have all been linked with moves to the Reebok but for me it is more important that the Wanderers keep hold of Davies before focusing their attentions on new additions.

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