Boss Sam Allardyce says he saw enough in Nicolas Anelka's curtailed debut to know the striker will repay Bolton's £8m investment.
Anelka (left) is closely policed by Watford's Jordan Stewart
Record signing from Fenerbahce Anelka, 27, lasted 70 minutes of his debut against Watford before being withdrawn.
Allardyce told Bolton's website: "He came off with tired calf muscles and we didn't want to risk him any further.
"I'm happy with what he did - I knew he was short of match practice but he showed flashes of what he can do."
France international Anelka failed to snap up the one real chance that came his way but Allardyce is convinced he will come good.
Allardyce said: "In fairness to him, he was woefully short of the right sort of service.
"He will be disappointed with his finishing because he didn't hit the target.
"But he swivelled on one and made the keeper pull off what was a really good save."