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View From The Town End: Zat Knight

With Reading FC signing defender Zat Knight, we thought we'd get an opinion from a man who's seen plenty of the defender - Bolton fan Mark Yesilevskiy

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So we've signed Zat Knight, what are three words that immediately pop into your head about the former Bolton man?

Big, slow, Zat. He's obviously very tall, seriously lacking in the speed department, and, well, he's Zat.

He played for England though and had more than 400 starts in the PL, was it possible to see why?

You know, for a while, it definitely seemed that way. There was a period, specifically the 2010/11 season, where Zat Knight looked pretty damn good. His partnership with Gary Cahill at the back made Bolton look pretty strong during a campaign in which they spent a lot of time pushing for a spot in Europe and reaching the FA Cup semi final. Still, a weak finish from the Trotters after a demoralizing showing at Wembley saw them plummet down the table and ultimately finish with a negative goal differential.

Wanderers spent a relatively pretty penny for Knight, with Gary Megson dropping about £4 million for him. It's worth keeping in mind that this is about half of Bolton's record transfer fee, which also came under Megson for one Johan Elmander. Bolton don't spend a ton of money and in the fans' eyes, he never lived up that price tag.

What about his fitness? We've not had much luck recently with former PL defenders returning from abroad.....

As an American, I pay close attention to MLS. Bolton Wanderers have had quite a few Major League Soccer connections stateside with the likes of Donovan Ricketts, Andy O'Brien, Owen Coyle, Nigel Reo-Coker, and more all plying or having plied their trade stateside. When Zat Knight came over to Colorado Rapids, I though that MLS might be his level but he was absolutely dreadful over here. Knight signed late in the season but only managed four appearances for the Rapids with his team losing each and every one of those games. It really is no surprise that they cancelled his deal. He looked off the pace in MLS and I'm not sure how much better he'll be for Reading.

Finally what's he like off the pitch? Was he a good influence from what you heard?

By all accounts, Knight is a leader. So much so that Dougie Freedman gave him the Captain's armband after Kevin Davies left the club. It didn't really work on the field but off the field, Knight was, for all intents and purposes, quiet. I can't ever remember him being a source of controversy.

Thanks again to Mark and you can follow him on Twitter @MarkWhyy while for more Bolton news and analysis try our sister site Lion of Vienna Suite