Beckford signing can catapult Bolton into play-offs at minimum

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Bolton only missed out on a play-off spot on goal difference last season and there is every reason to believe that a summer capture of Jermaine Beckford should at least secure them a spot in the top six in the next campaign.

If Dougie Freedman would have been in charge at the Reebok for all of last season rather than from the end of October onwards, this may have been enough alone to reach the play-offs, as they managed just 15 points from their first 13 games.

A run of eight wins in 10 between February and April had appeared to get dreams of an immediate return to the Premier League back on track, but five points from their final four games ultimately proved not enough.

Stuart Holden’s long-term absence didn’t help their cause, but it was their struggles for a prolific striker that probably undid Bolton.

Midfielder Chris Eagles was the only player to reach double-figures for league goals and a striker that nets around 20 goals would be a major boost to their promotion charge this time.

Beckford managed eight goals in his 21 games at Huddersfield on loan last season and it is not wrong to assume that he can better this rate at Bolton, where service should realistically be better and he should get more chances.

It is believed that a fee of £1m has been agreed between Leicester and Bolton, although there are many factors of a respective deal that still need sorting.

Selling Beckford to a Championship promotion rival is an interesting strategy for Leicester, although the striker is clearly not in the plans of manager Nigel Pearson and is among the highest earners at the club.

Bolton are 9/1 to win the 2013/14 Championship and 10/3 to secure promotion by any means.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.