Nigel Pearson has not been afraid to lean on young players during his Bristol City tenure and it’s been clear to see that in his eyes “if they’re good enough then they’re old enough” – in the words of Sir Matt Busby.
Pearson has put his faith in the likes of Alex Scott, Antoine Semenyo, and Han-Noah Massengo this term and certainly been rewarded.
The Robins squad is very much a work in progress but the manager has already dropped hints that there won’t be a huge amount of money to spend in the upcoming window.
That will likely mean he has to turn to the youth ranks again next term and, with that in mind, we’ve picked out two up-and-coming players that Pearson could lean on in 2022/23…
Quiz: Which club did Bristol City sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?
Scott has been City’s breakthrough star this season but Ayman Benarous will be hoping he can be the one taking the plaudits next term.
The 18-year-old penned a new long-term contract earlier this year and clearly has Pearson’s trust as he’s featured 10 times in the Championship in 2021/22.
It remains to be seen what changes will be made to the squad over the summer but Benarous looks likely to be someone that the Robins boss leans on more next term due to his versatility.
An attacking midfielder by trade, the teenager has proven himself comfortable playing as a wing-back and in a slightly deeper role in the centre of the park.
He has similarities to Scott in that sense and though he’s not quite as well regarded outside Ashton Gate as the ‘Guernsey Grealish’, the player known as the ‘Westbury Park Wizard’ is certainly someone that those in Bs3 are tipping for a big future.
This summer would be a sensible time to offload Nahki Wells, who is the highest earned at the football club (Salary Sport) but appears down the pecking order under Pearson.
Should the Bermudian striker depart and with Antoine Semenyo’s future looking uncertain as well, City will likely need more cover in forward areas.
Tommy Conway has been on the fringe of the senior squad this season but enjoyed an impressive campaign at U23s level.
The next step for him is more regular first team opportunities and it would be no surprise to see Pearson put much more faith in him next term.
That will likely be as a rotation option or substitute at first but if Conway can impress the City boss, he may be able to secure a more important role.