By Jason McKeown
It is exactly one year ago today that Nahki Wells truly announced himself on the Valley Parade stage with a wonder goal against Rochdale in the 1st round of the FA Cup. Although it was not his first Bantams goal – international commitments for Bermuda meant Nahki did not start to seriously trouble the first team spots until his Rochdale stunner – it was the moment when a Bradford City side struggling for goals suddenly had a match winner in their ranks who could guide the club away from the relegation trap door and beyond.
One year on, the man discovered by Mark Ellis and David Baldwin, signed by Archie Christie and handed a debut by Peter Jackson is developing superbly under Phil Parkinson. His two-goal burst at Aldershot on Saturday means Wells has netted 24 goals from 33 starts (24 sub appearances) so far in his Bantams career. This season, his record of 12 goals from 13 starts (seven sub appearances) makes him the joint second highest goalscorer in League Two (league and cup). The division’s golden boot is not an unrealistic target.
So how does Nahki compare to City’s other top goalscorers are this stage of the season?
|Season||Name||Goals by 12 Nov||Goals end of season|
So, stretching back to City’s first season in Division One (1996/97), no one has scored more goals than Nahki Wells at this stage of the campaign. It is worth noting that City have played more games than they typically have at this point in the season, with Dean Windass’ 11 goals in 2004/05 coming from 18 matches rather than the 20 Nahki has featured in this time. Nevertheless, with City having completed 17 of their 46 league matches this season (37% of the campaign) and with at least three cup matches still play, Nahki has a tremendous opportunity to better Windass’ outstanding 28-goal haul of 2004/05.
Given the fact City have spent the past 15 years climbing up and down the divisions, it is unfair to compare strikers who have performed at different levels. Nevertheless, when you look at goalscoring records its worth looking at how Nahki stacks up, relatively speaking, to some of the best Bantams strikers over this period.
|Name||Starts||Sub||Goals||Average goals per game|
So Nahki’s goal record stands up with the best of the best in City’s modern history, which made it so important that the club managed to tie him down on a lengthier contract a month ago. It seems Nahki will not be playing League Two football for long, but hopefully he can continue his impressive start to the season and take the Bantams to a higher level with him.