Bristol City’s Josh Brownhill looks set to make the step-up to the Premier League this month, with Burnley lining up a £7 million bid.
The 24-year-old has been a saving grace for Bristol in what’s slowly turning out to be a disappointing season – Lee Johnson’s side managed to hold onto a top-six spot for much of the first-half of the season, but the cracks soon appeared and a play-off spot now looks like a far possibility for the Robins.
Their season could get worse as well with the transfer speculation surrounding Brownhill – the midfielder has again been in fine form for his side, having played in all but one of Bristol City’s games in the Championship this season, scoring five goals.
He’d be a huge miss for Johnson if he departs, but they should get a nice bit of cash from him – here’s two areas where they should reinvest should the deal go through:
The obvious starting point is finding a suitable replacement for the man himself – Brownhill is a classy midfield player who’s all-round game is a good as anyone’s in the division. He can score goals and set them up, defend and attack and everything in-between, so replacing him won’t be that easy.
He’s formed a nice partnership with Han-Noah Massengo in the heart of the Bristol City midfield this season, with Brownhill being the more direct of the two, leaving Massengo as a more defensive minded midfielder. They have the likes of Adam Nagy, Kasey Palmer and Korey Smith who could all potentially come in a fill the vacant position, but none are a like-for-like replacement.
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In Andreas Weimann and Famara Diedhiou, Bristol City have two proven goal-scorers at Championship level. They’ve both chipped in with a decent amount this season but ask any Robins fans and they’ll tell you that they need an injection of pace in that department.
Two fairly lumbering forwards has made Johnson’s attack one of the slowest in the league and if Brownhill departs this month, the club should look to use it on adding some pace to their attack.
The signing of Rodri was meant to help in that area but that obviously hasn’t worked out as planned – as the season goes on and the games continue to come thick and fast, Bristol have looked more and more like they’re wearing out.
They got a good win against Wigan last time out, and host Barnsley this weekend in the cup – we’ll see from that game if Bristol City are showing signs of fatigue, and it’ll give Johnson a firm indicator of whether or not a striker is needed this month.