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After we published yesterday's look of all the signings that Owen Coyle made in his time at Bolton Wanderers, we've had more than a few requests for a similar look at Megson's, for comparison's sake.
The moral of this story is that Owen Coyle did, on the whole, a lot better with a lot less money than what Gary Megson did with his transfer budget. Basically, the exorbitant spending by Gary Megson hamstrung Owen Coyle and forced him to acquire a number of free and loan players. It's really an interesting look. All of the transfer fees are those are reported as Bolton Wanderers never make the numbers official. In the case of Matthew Taylor, there were a lot of varying numbers thrown out with the majority believing that he was in the £3.5 million range.
|Player||Date In||From||Reported Fee||Rating|
|Tamir Cohen||1-Jan-08||Maccabi Netanya||£0.065 million||A decent utility man that scored a couple of big goals. Not a great overall signing but for that price, can you really argue? Bargain.|
|Gretar Steinsson||16-Jan-08||AZ Alkmaar||£3.5 million||The first choice right back for a few seasons. Steinsson was strong and liked to maraude forward but would often be caught out of position.|
|Matthew Taylor||17-Jan-08||Portsmouth||~ £3.5 million||Had a number of good games on the wing and scored some very important goals for Bolton. Unfortunately, he had a lot of off-days and a poor attitude.|
|Gary Cahill||30-Jan-08||Aston Villa||£5 million||One of the best defenders in recent Bolton memb|
|Grzegorz Rasiak||31-Jan-08||Southampton||Loan||Seven appearances for Bolton and no goals from the Polish striker. Often regarded as one of Bolton's worst sigings and thankfully one not made permanently.|
|Fabrice Muamba||16-Jun-08||Birmingham City||£5 million||Raw and fairly inexperienced, Muamba did not really come into his own under Megson. It took Owen Coyle's management and partnerships with Stuart Holden and Nigel Reo-Coker to get the best out of Fab before his tragic collapse at White Hart Lane. Had plenty to give and lots of potential.|
|Johan Elmander||27-Jun-08||Toulouse||£8.2 million + Daniel Braaten||Again, did not find his stride at Bolton until partnered with Owen Coyle and Stuart Holden. Largely inconsistent and not worth his large transfer price.|
|Riga Mustapha||28-Jul-08||Levante||Free||Was at Bolton for two-and-a-half seasons before his contract was ultimately cancelled. He made 18 appearances in that time and the striker/winger scored no league goals.|
|Danny Shittu||6-Aug-08||Watford||£2 million||Made a total of 10 appearances for Bolton Wanderers in the 2008 / 2009 season and did not make a single one the following year. Largely terrible at Bolton.|
|Ebi Smolarek||29-Aug-08||Racing Santander||Loan||Another pretty poor signing, Smolarek made 12 appearances for Bolton. He scored only one goal, coming in the FA Cup against Sunderland that season. He was not picked up following his loan.|
|Sebastian Puygrenier||9-Jan-09||Zenit St. Petersburg||Loan||Spent half a season with Bolton and made only seven appearances. The big center back did not help Bolton's defense much but scored one goal, Bolton's 4000th in the top flight of English Football.|
|Ariza Makukula||16-Jan-09||Benfica||Loan||Another forward that couldn't score a goal if he tried. In the half season he spent at Bolton, Makukula managed only six appearances, no goals, and one assist.|
|Mark Davies||26-Jan-09||Wolverhampton Wanderers||£1 million||Has had his good and bad days in a Bolton shirt, with most of the bad coming this season. Davies has potential but needs help in the center of midfield to achieve it.|
|Sean Davis||1-Jul-09||Portsmouth||Free||Seen as a bit of a coup at the time, Sean Davis never was able to make an impact at Bolton with his constant injuries. In hindsight, it has to be viewed as a poor signing.|
|Paul Robinson||12-Jul-09||West Bromwich Albion||Loan||An experience hard man that helped out the Bolton defense. He was the first choice left back for few years due mainly to lack of a better option. Owen Coyle would later make his loan permanent.|
|Zat Knight||25-Jul-09||Aston Villa||£4 million||Largely ever present in the Bolton lineup since his signing. Knight is in no way worth the transfer fee he was brought in on though and it has to be rated as a fairly poor igning.|
|Sam Ricketts||25-Jul-09||Hull City||£2 million||Made a real impact for Bolton on the left wing after Paul Robinson no longer proved to be a good option. Damaged his achilles and was a big miss while he was out.|
|Chung-Yong Lee||14-Aug-09||FC Seoul||£2 million||Hands down the best signing that Megson made for Bolton Wanderers. Chungy was a relative bargain that controlled the wings in the seasons up until his leg break.|
|Ivan Klasnic||1-Sep-09||FC Nantes||Loan||Klasnic was a great signing during his loan period, spending half a season with Bolton. In that short span, the fox in the box scored eight Premier League goals.|
In short, Gary Megson made a number of very important and very good signings for Bolton. Namely, Ivan Klasnic, Chung-Yong Lee, Samuel Ricketts, Mark Davies, and Fabrice Muamba. Unfortunately, he also made a lot of very terrible ones with the likes of Grzegzor Rasiak, Ariza Makukula, Sebastian Puygrenier, Danny Shittu, and Ebi Smolarek. Couple that with the fees he paid for Johan Elmander, Zat Knight, Gretar Steinsson, Danny Shittu, and others, and you'd see just why Owen Coyle was wanted so badly.