Joe Dodoo hadn’t played a Scottish Premiership match in two years when Steven Gerrard’s Rangers allowed him to join Bolton Wanderers on a free.
When Joe Dodoo’s Rangers career came to a rather belated end in September, his contract terminated days after the transfer window slammed shut, it was all too easy to bunch him alongside Dalcio, Fabio Cardoso, Joey Barton and co as one of the worst signings the club has made since their return to the top flight in 2016.
And there’s a reason for that. After all, Dodoo played 27 games in three years as a Rangers player, scoring just three Scottish Premiership goals with a succession of managers, Pedro Caixinha, Graeme Murty and then Steven Gerrard, preferring to farm him out rather than give him a run of games.
In fact, when Dodoo was officially released last month, it marked the two-year anniversary since his last appearance in the famous blue shirt with loan spells at Charlton and Blackpool meaning he spent as much time away from Ibrox as he did at the famous old ground.
But the now-24-year-old, who shot to fame with a hat-trick on his Leicester City debut all the way back in 2015, is finally making up for lost time after returning south of the border on a permanent basis.
Barely an eyebrow was raised when Dodoo joined crisis-club Bolton Wanderers on a free. But it speaks volumes that The Trotters have picked up four points in just the three games since he joined compared to three in the nine games beforehand.
Dodoo made an immediate impact against Rochdale in only his second appearance, setting up a goal with a dazzling run and pinpoint cross. And he was real nuisance once again as Bolton, at the 12th time of asking, finally won their first game of the season against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.
Well played last night Joe, quality performance
— Liam McNeill ⚡️ (@mcneill103) October 23, 2019
— Luke f (@lukecpfc1905) October 23, 2019
You lads on the pitch are doing this club proud, after the unfortunate game at the weekend you travelled to Bristol and played your hearts out, let this be the new beginning and the rise of the mighty wanderers
— Jack Hesford (@HesfordJack) October 23, 2019
Joe Dodoo needs to start every game now
— Liam (@Liambwfc_) October 23, 2019
Shape was solid once Wanderers took the lead. And when they got the ball into Daryl Murphy there were bodies around him. Dodoo was awesome in the first half and Crawford could have had a few goals.
— Marc Iles (@MarcIles) October 22, 2019
Lowe is always good tbf. Been fantastic recently. He’s everywhere. Thought Zouma was good and Dodoo had a great first half
— Matt ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ (@BKDismyhero) October 22, 2019
Smart player Dodoo. Got something about him.
— Trotters Blog (@TrottersBlog) October 22, 2019
Really like what i see in Dodoo #bwfc
— Bwfcart (@bwfcart) October 22, 2019
The Bolton fans already have a new hero with Dodoo breathing fresh life into their hopes of a remarkable escape from relegation.
Yes, he has a habit of starting well and fading fast but if Dodoo can keep this up, he will leave Rangers fans everywhere wondering whether a player who promised so much was discarded too soon.