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32 passes per game – Bristol City target who could make difference in defence and attack

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Bristol City are stepping up their transfer activity and according to Football Insider, Daniel Bentley could be the latest arrival.

The goalkeeper was linked with The Robins earlier this summer, and could be the man to fill the no.1 spot at Ashton Gate, as the club has no first-team keepers in the squad following the departures of Frank Fielding and Stefan Marinovic.

Bentley has a year left on his contract and is highly valued by Brentford, so could still fetch a significant fee, but the capture of Jay Dasilva and Sammie Szmodics show the ambition Bristol City have.

The 25-year-old has spent the previous four years at Brentford, and has impressed throughout his spell. He is only likely to improve more as he gains more experience and is exactly the type of player The Robins should target if they are aiming for the Premier League.

His record of seven clean sheets and 45 goals conceded in 33 games isn’t very impressive, but much of that is due to the players in front of him, and Brentford’s expansive style of play which prioritises attack over defence.

Teams are also more likely to concede when a defence is working in front of different keepers, which is what happened last season. In 2017/18 Bentley only missed one game, and subsequently only conceded 51 goals.

A key aspect of Bentley’s game which sets him above other Championship keepers is his ability on the ball. He is very composed for someone so young and his passing ability was a key part of Brentford’s style of play.

Lee Johnson has also installed a possession-based style at Ashton Gate and judging from Bentley’s stats, with an average of 32 passes made per match, and 6.7 long balls, he would be very suited to The Robins.

One area he may need to improve on however is his pass success rate. 58% is a poor return for a keeper who is more than capable with the ball, and although many of those would have been long passes upfield he needs to make adjustments to be considered a Premier League quality keeper.

Bentley is a brilliant shot-stopper and he pulls off amazing saves every year. Bristol City have great defenders in Adam Webster, Bailey Wright and possibly Tomas Kalas, so Bentley is likely to improve on his already impressive clean sheet rate of 21%.

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