Working with head of football operations Tobias Phoenix, Ian Evatt has spoken at length about how much a player’s data and statistics and how they fit into his system come in to play.
The former Barrow boss is looking at using three central defenders at the University of Bolton Stadium, and is keen for his players to take responsibility when in possession and building attacks.
As the rumours have flown around in recent weeks, Wanderers and near neighbours Salford regularly linked with the same clutch of out of contract players, the head coach has told supporters not to expect a conveyor belt of household names.
Of the five new recruits that have come through the door they seem to slot into three distinct categories.
Eoin Doyle and Antoni Sarcevic are marquee signings when it comes to the fourth tier, both key men as Swindon and Plymouth won promotion from the division last season.
Blackburn Rovers loanee Tom White, who has penned a season-long deal from Ewood Park, is well known to Evatt having been part of the Barrow side that were promoted as National League champions in such style last season.
Then there is defender George Taft, most recently with Cambridge, and midfielder Brandon Comley, part of the Colchester side that reached the play-offs, even if the 24-year-old didn’t play in the promotion decider after being released in April for financial reasons.
These are two new recruits where the numbers and the need to fill a specific role certainly make sense.
First up Comley, the man who had the best pass completion stats in League Two last season, the Motserrat international looking for a team-mate and hitting the mark 86.8 per cent of the time.
He is a player long admired by Evatt and on paper would appear to fit the bill perfectly as the Whites bid to look after the ball this season.
“He has the qualities that I look for,” the Whites head coach told The Bolton News.
“He’s a midfield player that can pretty much do it all.
“He can break up attacks and see danger defensively but he’s very comfortable in possession and can build attacks from the back through to the midfield and the strikers.
“His passing stats last season were the best in the division in terms of pass completion. We’ve looked at his data in depth and his data stacks up.
“He’s a good age and there’s still lots of improvement to come.
“He’s the right fit for us.”
Taft, a giant defender who came through the ranks at Leicester and was in England youth set-ups where he roomed with Spurs ace Harry Kane, looks set to give some balance to the Whites defence.
Like Comley, he is arriving at the club at the right age, 27 in the centre back’s case, and has plenty of League Two experience under his belt having spent the last three years with Cambridge United, first on loan, and then as a permanent fixture at the Abbey Stadium.
He ticks another box for Evatt, who wants strong personalities given the expectation that will be on Wanderers this season as they look to rebound after back-to-back relegations.
“Especially if we’re going to play a back three, we need someone who is naturally left sided on that side of the pitch,” Evatt said.
“He’s got experience of the level and has been a captain so is a good character.
“He’s got good pedigree having played for England youth teams and he came through the Leicester Ciry academy.
“He’s very highly rated, he’s a big 6ft4ins, 6ft5ins specimen who can still move, can still run but is also technical enough to be able to play football and to bring the ball out of defence and pick passes and that’s important as well.
“He ticks a lot of boxes.”