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Could Tom Eaves bring some relief to Gills fans’ pockets this season?

Gillingham’s Tom Eaves is within shooting distance of winning the Golden Boot, but his goals are worth even more than that to a Gills side that’s on the verge of a relegation dogfight

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It’s been a typically frustrating season for Gillingham fans, once again.

After a positive start to the campaign, the team fell into a terrible run of form, only to then pick things up again as the team showed glimpses of being a half-decent side; at least, when they’re on their game.

The trouble is, they’re not on their game anywhere near often enough.

But one man who has provided the fans with some pride with his performances this season is striker Tom Eaves. The six-foot-five striker has proved to be a whole lot more than just a tall target man for the Gills this season as he’s produced a host of different strikes for the club throughout their campaign.

He’s undoubtedly a threat in the air but it’s been on the ground that he’s perhaps surprised the most sides. His ability to run with the ball, lift his head and spot a pass, and also have the composure to try the unexpected has proved valuable for Steve Lovell’s side this season.

By January 20, 2019, Eaves had netted 14 goals in League One. Only a brief spell out of the side through injury saw him overtaken at the top of the League One top goalscorer charts.

At the time of writing, he currently sits behind Doncaster’s former Gills loanee John Marquis and Sunderland’s Josh Maja, and sits level with Rochdale’s Ian Henderson, Charlton’s Karlan Grant and Luton’s James Collins.

But there’s a reason to believe that Eaves can overhaul most of them this season, as he has a better goals-to-minutes ratio than everyone above him, bar Maja.

Eaves currently sits at an attractively-priced 9/1 with sportsbetting oddsmakers Redbet but those odds will fluctuate wildly based on who’s at the top of the goalscoring charts at the time. But, with a few names only a couple of goals ahead of him in the top scorers’ list, now might not be a bad time to back our big striker to pick up what’s pretty certain to be Gillingham’s only silverware this season.

Other odds

The days of Gills fans looking optimistically at odds to finish in the playoff or promotion places are a dim and distant memory, with the club seemingly set to dig in for a late-season relegation battle.

With 28 games played, the Gills sit just a solitary point above that dreaded dotted line that signifies relegation to League Two, and the fear is beginning to set in with the Gills’ fanbase as the likelihood of the side being dragged into a relegation dogfight seems more likely as the season progresses.

The bookies fancy the Gills to be dragged into it, too. They’re 5/4 fourth-favourites to get relegated. With four relegation places waiting to be occupied, that’s a worry.

If the Gills are to stay up this season, they’re going to need improved performances, much better defensive displays, and they’re going to have to rely on their big front man to deliver the goals they need to stay the right side of the dotted line.

If Eaves can keep finding the net, he might end the season celebrating winning the Golden Boot, with Gills fans breathing a sigh of relief after narrowly avoiding relegation.

But, if, for some reason, the Gills lose his goals, they’re going to find themselves in deep trouble.