EFL pundit Jobi McAnuff reckons Wanderers could be contenders for an automatic promotion spot next season.

Ian Evatt’s men finished in fifth place last term before coming up just short against Barnsley in the play-off semi-final. Liam Kitching scored the decisive goal in the second leg at Oakwell.

Former Reading and Watford man McAnuff was impressed with what he saw from the Whites over the past campaign.

The 41-year-old believes the promotion race is an open playing field after the likes of Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday secured promotion back to the Championship.

“When you look at the division and you see the level of teams that are in it, you see the ones who went up last year,” he told Sky Sports.

“Bolton Wanderers are a team that missed out in the play-offs that I felt could have been their season last year.

“The fact that the likes of Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday have gone up, two huge clubs, I do think there’s an opportunity there for some of those other teams that went quite well last year to make a good push.”

Wanderers have already made four summer signings ahead of the upcoming League One campaign.

Goalkeepers Nathan Baxter and Joel Coleman joined on free transfers from Chelsea and Ipswich respectively.

Josh Dacres-Cogley also signed up after his Tranmere deal expired, while Dan Nlundulu completed a permanent move from Southampton.

Evatt’s men are among the early favourites for promotion next term along with the likes of Derby and Peterborough.

Blackpool, Reading and Wigan will all be playing in the third tier next season following relegation from the Championship. The latter will start on minus eight points after failing to pay player wages on time.

Meanwhile, Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Northampton and Carlisle were all promoted from League Two last term.