Ian Evatt believes Xavier Amaechi is trying to do too much to impress the Bolton Wanderers boss and make up for lost time after time out injured as he sent the loanee a message to simplify his game to have an impact.
The 21-year-old former Arsenal youth product is on loan at Wanderers for the season, after his initial spell from Hamburg was extended for the rest of the campaign.
It has proven to be a frustrating time at Bolton so far for Amaechi largely due to injury, with a fractured metatarsal picked up in pre-season meaning he did not make his competitive debut until mid-November.
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He has scored eleven in eight appearances, but has recently returned from being sidelined again due to a hamstring strain.
Wanderers boss Evatt feels that Amaechi is trying to do too much to prove himself upon his return and wants the loanee to adopt a simplified approach to his game to have an impact.
Evatt believes that the talent is clearly there with Amaechi but Wanderers are yet to see the best of it.
With Bolton now adopting a 3-5-2 formation, there is perhaps no obvious immediate place for the winger in that particular set-up.
But Evatt believes Amaechi can fill one of the wing-back roles or even play in the number 10 position should Wanderers need goals in games as a potential position change is on the cards for the Hamburg loanee upon his return to action in the second half of the season.
Evatt told the Manchester Evening News: “Xav has been so unlucky. We signed him in the summer and obviously had big expectations of him. He broke his foot and missed three months.
“Then we’re getting him back to where we want him to be and he scored against Cheltenham and things are looking bright. Then he does his hamstring. It’s been tough for him.
“Xav is such a good lad and is so determined that he’s even got to the point now where he’s trying to do too much. Every time he steps on the training pitch and when he played for the reserves the other day, it’s almost like he feels he has to do something to impress to make up for lost time.
“Sometimes simplicity is genius and he looks a better player when he keeps things simple and mixes his game up.
“We’ve had a chat, he understands that. I still think he can affect this system as well – I think he can play wing-back or as a number 10, especially if we need him to attack and get some goals.
“Like we spoke about with Declan John, his responsibility to defend isn’t as much anymore so Xav can affect those wing-back roles, Kieran Sadlier can. There are still 16 games left in the season – it’s a long, long time. And he will play a part in us hopefully getting to where we want to be.
“You don’t go to Hamburg for two-and-a-half million quid and earn the contract that he’s got and play for England throughout the age groups if you don’t have ability.
“He’s got an immense amount of ability, it’s just channeling it the right way and making sure he’s not overcomplicating things.
“At the moment, I feel he is because he just wants to do well and impress and make an impact. But it’s about making him understand that you can still have that impact by mixing your game up and sometimes keeping it simple.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.