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Playmaker's EFL 72: #61-#51

#53: Aaron Collins (Bolton Wanderers)

2024/04/10 19:20
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Next up, perhaps further down the list than he would have liked after his stellar year last season, is League One attacker Aaron Collins - who charted at Number 6 in the 2022/23 edition of the Playmaker '72'

The vagueness of the term ‘League One attacker’ is intentional as the 26-year-old Welshman is a versatile operator, who has been galvanised by his transfer from Bristol Rovers to Bolton Wanderers for a fee believed to be in the region of £750,000 in the January transfer window.

Collins was named the League One Player of the Year last season, despite playing for a Gas side that finished in mid-table, in arguably one of the highest quality third-tier line-ups in English football history. 

So, when it got to January and he had only notched three times in the league for Rovers this season, after comfortably hitting double figures last year, an opportunity arose for Bolton to pick up what already appears a bit of a bargain.

Even with ‘just’ those three goals, Collins had still remained effective in attack for Rovers and contributed eight assists.

Since joining the Trotters, the 26-year-old has scored six goals - including a recent hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Reading - and added a further two assists to his tally: his crucial goal against former club Bristol Rovers last Saturday helping to keep Bolton firmly in the hunt for automatic promotion. 

Only Collins (25G, 21A) and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (36G, 21A) have managed to hit 20 goals AND supply 20 assists in 'The 92' over the last two seasons, which serves to underline the Welshman's creative quality and end product.  

With Bolton's destiny in their own hands this season after Derby's 0-0 draw at Wycombe midweek, Collins is emerging as something of a talisman as the Trotters try to secure second-tier football next season.

With the pressing qualities of Dion Charles and Victor Adeboyejo, as well as good 'hold up' players such as Cameron Jerome and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson; Collins offers a different dimension to Wanderers with high levels of technical ability and genuine end product. 

Could he prove the difference in what is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting finish to the League One campaign?

 

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LH
2024-04-10 20h04m by lhalliday_bart
As a football fan, I am so excited for the next batch of standouts in the 'Playmaker 72'! It's always a tough decision to rank players from different divisions, but I can't wait to see who makes the cut.
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