The Insider: View on Pompey target James Henry
James Henry can thrive in League One operating in the right system.
Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t with a Bolton side who operated a 3-5-2 formation since February.
Manager Phil Parkinson recruited five players on the August deadline day, with Henry arguably the biggest capture of them all.
Over the years he had scored some fantastic goals against the Trotters and been a talisman for Wolves, so hopes were high of a favourable impact.
The fact there were also former Millwall team-mates Liam Trotter and Mark Beevers at the Macron Stadium meant it looked a good fit.
However, the 27-year-old never really got the chance, while suffered problems with confidence.
Just 16 of his 35 appearances came as starts as the opportunities to demonstrate his Wolves quality didn’t come about.
Granted, there was an absolute worldie of a goal against Scunthorpe on New Year’s Eve, a last-gasp job which relieved all the tension.
His first goal for the club, it was an extremely valuable contribution and what he will be remembered for, but unfortunately never rescued his Bolton career.
Despite being a very good player, the 3-5-2 system was not necessarily for him, which was a problem.
Henry is not a wing-back and isn’t strong enough to feature in the centre of midfield, so it was difficult for him to find a role within the team.
He is a right-sided attacking player or even a number 10, so can perform in a 4-4-2 or as part of the three in a 4-2-3-1.
There is a decent burst of pace in his legs and he can come in off the wing, while also possessing the intelligence to operate in the middle of the three.
Henry was supposed to sign for Bolton in January, only to be let down by the transfer embargo the club continues to operate under.
His loan was then extended until the season’s end with a view to a permanent deal once his Molineux deal expired, but that hasn’t happened yet.
At this moment in time, I don’t think anything will come of it and don’t necessarily see him staying at Bolton.
He would do well at Pompey as a regular starter if they retained the system which won them the League Two title.
That can bring the best out of a talented player who uses the ball very well.
It’s just at Bolton it didn’t quite suit him, more to do with the formation than anything.