Where Are They Now: Jay Bothroyd

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Islington- born striker Jay Bothroyd is well known to many in the English game and has forged a successful career playing at various levels and in different countries.

Starting out at the Arsenal Youth Academy, Jay was a hit early on and went on to score many goals in Arsenal’s colours, most notably in the 99/2000 season where the Gunners went on to win the FA Youth Cup. But, after never making a first-team appearance he was sold to Coventry, for what in those days was a rather hefty price of £1 million, particularly as Bothroyd was young and rather unproven. Bothroyd wore the Sky Blues colours for 3 years, in what was a hard time for the club as they were relegated from the top-flight. Bothroyd himself struggled to find consistent form and in his three seasons he notched up 17 goals.

The tall striker was soon on the move again, and in he 03/04 season he made a surprise switch to Seria A side Perugia. However though, he failed to settle, scoring only 5 league goals and after one season he returned to England, this time making the loan switch to Blackburn before linking up full time with Charlton in the 05/06 season. After scoring 6 league goals ion his time with Blackburn and Charlton in the Premiership, Bothroyd decided to drop down a level and linked up with Wolves. Here he showed a bit more consistency but still struggled to score goals, and after making 60 appearances with just over 10 goals to his name he moved to Wales, to link up with Dave Jones at Cardiff.

Throughout his career Bothroyd had shown glimpses of the talent he possessed growing up as an Arsenal youngster, but he could never really do it on a consistent basis. Things were to change at Cardiff though, and in four seasons, notching up 133 games, Bothroyd scored 45 goals and also got many assists, linking up well with strike partner Michael Chopra. During his time in South Wales Bothroyd amazingly got an England call up, something very rare for a Championship player.

After such great form in the Championship it was hardly surprising when Bothroyd was presented with the chance to return to the Premiership. But after two difficulty seasons with QPR, which also included a loan spell to Sheffield Wednesday Bothroyd left the club in 2013. At the age of 31, Bothroyd has now decided to move to Thailand to play for Muangthong United, in what is a very surprising and intriguing move. Like his time at Cardiff he is currently scoring for fun and has so far notched up 6 goals in 10 app appearances.

Jay Bothroyd has enjoyed both an intriguing and diverse career, and whilst he may not have reached the heights that were expected of him at Arsenal he has generally being successful at most clubs he has played for, and  at 31, there still may be some time left for him to leave his mark on the English game.

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