The summer could see a lot of squad turnover at Bristol City.
Not only are there a significant number of senior players out of contract but whoever the Robins boss is – most likely Nigel Pearson – will be looking to shape their squad.
Pearson has spoken in length about the need to build a squad to achieve City’s lofty ambitions, so it would not be a surprise to see a fair few new signings announced via the Ashton Gate roof.
This season has seen opportunities handed to a number of the Robins’ talented young academy products and that’s likely to continue.
In fact, a few may just breakthrough into the first team and save their club a lot of money…
Midfield creativity has been an issue this season for City – as the fact that they’ve had fewer shots than any side in the Championship illustrates – and with Jamie Paterson out of contract in the summer, the South West club may be on the look out for a new playmaker.
It would not be a surprise to see the Robins turn to the transfer market to replace him but an answer could well be closer to home.
Ayman Benarous signed his first professional deal with the club back in February and is very highly rated at the club, with Academy Manager Gary Probert labelling him a “technically gifted” player with a “determined mindset”.
The attacking midfielder is still a teenager but has already progressed through the U18s and into the U23s, as well as being called up to training with England’s age-group sides.
Benarous is yet to make his senior debut for City but he could just be the creative spark they’re looking for.
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Another teenager than has recently penned his first professional deal with the South West club, Alex Scott has been included in two Championship matchday squads this season but is yet to make his senior bow.
The midfielder pulled the strings for the England U18s recently, turning heads in a game that also included Manchester City starlet Liam Delap.
Pearson has struggled to land on a settled midfield this term and it could well be an area that he looks to work on in the summer.
The answer to some of City’s problems may be right under their nose already in the form of Scott.
He’s certainly someone that looks set for a bright future, with the Bristol Post revealing recently that there has been a race on among a number of top agents to look after the teenager.