Dion Charles ‘punches above his weight’ as Bolton January signing delivers what Wanderers expect

Ian Evatt admits he would hate to play against Dion Charles as he believes the January transfer window signing has delivered precisely what he expected him to after joining Bolton Wanderers.

The striker became the first player Wanderers had spent a transfer fee on since 2018 when he joined at the start of the January transfer window from Accrington Stanley.

He has since scored four goals for Wanderers and become the new man to lead the line for Bolton after the departure of Eoin Doyle.

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His latest goal came against Charlton Athletic where his workrate and endeavor lead to him getting the better of Akin Famewo and rounding Craig MacGillivray to give the hosts the lead in an eventual 2-1 victory.

Evatt knows Charles from his time at Blackpool when the striker was a youngster and admits he would not relish the prospect of playing against the Northern Ireland international with his terrier-like abilities to hound defenders, not give them a moment’s peace and force them into errors .

He said: “The thing is with Dion, once you let the ball bounce, you’re in a world of trouble and I think tonight, especially first half (against Charlton) we were slightly more direct at times, but if you’re having joy from it and they’re so high up the pitch, why would you not use it?

“I keep saying to the players we’re not a football team for vanity, we don’t do it to make ourselves look good. We do it for a purpose and if the game’s giving you that ball in behind with the strikers we’ve now got, just do it. Why not? Why would n’t you utilize his pace from him and that got us the goal.

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“Just the harassment and a couple of other times with the second yellow and the one where he got booked initially, Jason (Pearce). That’s from Dion running and chasing lost causes, winning your duels and being competitive and I was really pleased with that .

“He punches above his weight. I would hate to play against him. He’s like a mosquito that you just can’t get rid of, like those annoying flies in the summer where you’re having your food and enjoying it and no matter how many times you bat it away, it comes back for more.

“That’s exactly what Dion’s like and I wouldn’t like to play against him.”

Charles was one of seven new arrivals at Wanderers in the January transfer window and Evatt believes the striker has become a ‘big player’ for Bolton after his match sharpness returned.

He added: “I think he’s given us exactly what we thought he would. We worked really hard on recruitment and do a lot of due diligence and we know exactly what these players are going to bring to us.

“Dion has done exactly what we thought he would. He took time to get his fitness up but that’s why we had some short-term pain with taking him off early in games and trying to keep him in one piece while his sharpness comes back, but now he’s all systems go and we’ve got to keep him in one piece because he’s a big, big player for us.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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