The Sweden international has scored just eight goals for Wanderers in all competitions and has not even made the starting line-up since November.
But having taken over as boss, Coyle - who played up front for Bolton in the 1990s - is keen to give his new players a chance to prove their worth and he believes Elmander can rediscover his touch in front of goal.
"I have played as a striker myself and been at different clubs," said Coyle, who brought Elmander on for the last 10 minutes of Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal, his first match in charge.
"I think if a striker isn't scoring goals, they are always going to come in for criticism. I have spoken to Johan and it's a clean slate for him, but it's up to him to show the qualities he has.
"He came to the club with a big reputation and nobody gave him that reputation - he earned that through his quality.
"There is no doubt as far as I'm concerned that he can go and rekindle that and show everybody the quality he has.
"Ultimately it's up to him, when he gets the chance, to show everybody what a top player he is."