Bristol City have got a lot to do over the summer to ensure they’re in good shape ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Despite their dreadful recent form, it looks as though the Robins will be playing in the Championship next season – though who will be in charge there remains unclear.
CEO Mark Ashton is off to join Ipswich Town, while Nigel Pearson is yet to sign a contract beyond the summer.
Add to that the significant number of City players out of contract at the end of the season and the South West club’s list of priorities begins to look rather long.
Beating Nottingham Forest to the signing of Blackpool striker Jerry Yates should be high on that list, however.
Reports emerged in March suggesting that, alongside Blackburn Rovers, Forest and City were both keen on Yates and that the forward was valued at around £2 million.
The 24-year-old took a little while to settle at Bloomfield Road but has scored 20 goals since the end of October and has been particularly vital to the Tangerine’s late-season play-off push – picking up a FLW Fans’ League One Player of the Month award en route.
The Robins have struggled significantly going forward this season – scoring fewer goals than all but two of the sides above them in the Championship and averaging the fewest shots per game of any side in the division – and there’s a fair bit of uncertainty surrounding their forward line.
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Both Andreas Weimann and Chris Martin are coming back from fairly long term injuries, while Famara Diedhiou’s time at Ashton Gate looks set to end at the expiration of his current contract this summer, Antoine Semenyo has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs, and Nahki Wells has yet to properly convince in a City shirt.
If the Robins really want to launch a serious promotion push over the next few years, then signing a striker capable of scoring 20+ goals is surely a necessity.
Yates’ form this season has shown that he’s got the potential to do that, hence why City and a string of other Championship clubs are reportedly keen.
Whoever is in charge of the Robins should be pushing to ensure that it’s Ashton Gate he’s arriving at this summer, not the City Ground or anywhere else.