FORMER Wanderers striker Nathan Blake believes new loan signing Joe Mason will form a dynamic partnership with in-form front man Jermaine Beckford at the Reebok Stadium.

Blake has watched Mason develop at Cardiff City in recent seasons during his role as a radio summariser back in his home town and says the Whites are getting a forward of Premier League standard.

He admits it was a surprise to see the highly-rated 22-year-old be allowed to head out on loan this week, but is delighted his old club Bolton won the race to capture his services at the second attempt.

And he is excited about how Mason’s qualities could combine with the lethal finishing of in-form Beckford who goes into today’s game at Middlesbrough with five goals in the last six games.

Blake told The Bolton News: “I have been surprised Joe has not played more this season because I believe he is a Premier League player.

“He is an intelligent footballer who has that striker’s knack of being in the right place at the right time.

He isn’t the quickest, but his thought-process is one step ahead of everyone else. He’s a bit like Peter Beardsley was in that respect.

“Joe could be the ideal foil for someone like Jermaine Beckford. It has the potential to be a dynamic pairing with Jermaine stretching defences and Joe in just behind him.

“I don’t know how Dougie Freedman will use him but that would definitely spice things up in the Championship.

“It is great Bolton have got Joe because I expect a lot of clubs were hoping they could get him on loan.

“He may be young but has a lot of football under his belt.

“Bolton are not just signing someone with potential here; Joe is a ready-made first-teamer who has proved he is capable of scoring goals in the Championship.

“Hopefully, he will do that again and fire Bolton up the league.”

Mason will stay with Wanderers until the new year and boss Dougie Freedman will hope he helps extend the team’s current eight-game unbeaten run.

Blake is backing the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international to do just that.

He added: “It could be just what Joe needs – to be at a good club and playing regular first-team games again.

“I feel sorry for him because he has not had an opportunity this season. It must be a nightmare for him because he was Cardiff’s best player a couple of season’s ago when he scored in the League Cup final.

“Last year he was a big part of the Cardiff team that won the title and promotion.

“Maybe he lacks a little bit of physicality at the moment but I don’t see that as a flaw because he can still hold the ball up well.

“This spell could bring him on as a player because when he matures, like Aaron Ramsey has this season, he will be a good Premier League player, there’s no doubt in my mind.”