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There has been some discussion between Bolton Wanderers and Dynamo Kiev about the potential sale of David Ngog to the Ukrainian giants. The forward has been at Bolton Wanderers for just over a year-and-a-half and his current deal expires at the conclusion of next season. It's safe to say that he hasn't performed to the level that his transfer fee from Liverpool begged of him nor has he become a veritable fan favorite.
Despite all of that, selling David Ngog would be a mistake.
Whatever happened to signing up talent based on potential and working with them to fulfill said potential? It may be a symptom of David Ngog's relative lifetime in the game but just about everyone tends to forget that he's only 23 years old. That's it. 23. He signed with Liverpool at the age of 19 and had been on the first team scene with Paris St Germain since 2006 at the age of 17. It's Freddy Adu syndrome for a much better, much classier player.
It's with that age that David Ngog shows how much experience he has in the game already and at the same time how much more he has left to give.
The transfer fee that Bolton Wanderers shelled out for him (a reported £4 million) may not seem like much to a lot of Premier League clubs but to the Trotters, it's a relative fortune. Much like with anything that has a high asking price, there are reasonably high expectations that come with it. David Ngog has not lived up to those expectations but how many 23-year-olds reasonably would? 23-years-old is a long ways away from a footballer's peak age.
The rumored transfer fee that Kiev are offering is £4 million which, to many of Bolton's fans, would be an offer too good to turn down. The issue with the aforementioned offer is that Bolton Wanderers would still be taking a loss on it and at that point, what is the point of getting rid? "How," you ask? Yes, the fees would cancel out but you also have to calculate wages paid at the very minimum.
While Ngog hasn't put in a convincing 90 minutes thus far this season, he's certainly on the right track. It was just six months ago but many forget the constant back injury problems that plagued the forward's preseason. It kept him out of the vast majority of the games and carried into the early part of the season. Like with any injury, recovery (which pain management is a part of), takes time.
But, like I just said, Ngog is on the right track. His performances have picked up of late, especially in the last three matches. In that (albeit short) stretch, Ngog has a goal and an assist to his name as well as some genuinely good play on and off the ball. It was his introduction against Burnley and Nottingham Forest that immediately impacted those game.
Thanks to Ngog's strength, he is able to maintain possession for Bolton Wanderers by providing good hold-up play. He also shines through his versatility in the attacking half, especially in that final third, as he has shown in those three games. Ngog dropping a little deeper opened up play for the Trotters and him moving out wide created Bolton's equalizer against Nottingham Forest.
The issue has been that David Ngog has trouble stringing together full 90 minute performances. He's shown on numerous occasions that he can do it in a super sub role as all five of his goals this season have come after the 60th minute). There's still plenty of time for him to do that and there's no question that David Ngog, like Marvin Sordell, has improved under Dougie Freedman.
So you know what? Unless Bolton Wanderers are handed an absolutely ludicrous wad of cash for David Ngog's services, they should hang onto him.