Bolton goalkeeper Ben Alnwick is reportedly close to full fitness, according to the Bolton News.
The stopper has been out of action since picking up a back injury at the end of January. However, Alnwick could be about to return to first team action in this weekend’s visit to Queen’s Park Rangers.
The question is, after spending two months on the sidelines…
Should Ben Alnwick walk straight back into the first team?
Alnwick is no doubt a talented goalkeeper. He was voted player of the year by fans at the end of last season as his shot-stopping antics helped stave off relegation.
However, since Alnwick picked up this injury that’s kept him out of action for so long, Remi Matthews has made a strong case to keep hold of the number one spot.
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What about Remi Matthews?
While many of Bolton’s outfield players have struggled, Matthews has been there to rescue his side on numerous occasions in recent weeks. Not least for several heroic saves in the win over Birmingham in mid-February. And of course, for the penalty saves against Norwich and Swansea.
The case against Matthews though was built in the embarrassing derby day defeat against Wigan. Granted, the error Matthews made for Wigan’s third goal was a freak mistake and should hopefully be a one-off.
Nevertheless, the stats don’t lie and in Matthews’ 14 appearances this season, he’s conceded 23 goals, that’s 1.64 goals per game. Whereas Ben Alnwick, who has played in 26 games and conceded 39 goals, averages 1.58 goals conceded per game.
However, the decision on whether or not to keep faith with Matthews or to reinstate Ben Alnwick rests entirely with Phil Parkinson.
Who do you think Parkinson should go for this weekend?