Bristol City are a team on the up under Lee Johnson, last season’s play-off challenge showed they are credible contenders but they will need to add to their squad to go one step further.
They have been linked with Aston Villa’s Scott Hogan, and he could provide a missing element to The Robins.
The difference between Bristol City and the teams which made the play-offs last year was goals. Not since Tammy Abraham have the club had a proven goalscorer in their ranks, but Hogan could change that.
The Villa man has spent large spells out of form since joining the club in 2017. Much of that has been down to a lack of fitness, as the 27-year-old has proved himself in the Championship previously.
At Brentford he scored 21 goals in 33 games, and with service from the likes of Jamie Paterson, Callum O’Dowda and Josh Brownhill he could flourish at Ashton Gate.
There is good reason for City fans to be excited by this transfer. Fans love poachers and Hogan would fit in well given Johnson’s playing style, which allows for a player like Hogan to run in behind the defence for chances on goal.
However, fans will naturally be cautious given his injury record. Since 2014 he has only played two full seasons, and averaged just over 20 games in all competitions per season.
Nevertheless, he provides something different to current strikers Andreas Weimann and Famara Diédhiou.
A player like Hogan always gives fans hope of a goal when he’s on that pitch. There are few strikers who can act solely on instinct and quick reactions – Hogan scores key goals and that is the difference in getting into the playoff places.
Bristol City fans have already witnessed what Hogan has to offer. He spent the latter half of the season on loan at Sheffield United, and in a match against The Robins he showed his poaching ability with a header inside the six-yard box – a goal that came about due to Hogan’s intelligence and positioning – that is what City fans can look forward to.
Hogan still has two years remaining on his current contract but he is not wanted by Villa who will want him off the wage bill.
He could be available on loan and that would be a deal which really suits Bristol City. It would provide him with the chance to prove himself and if he impresses they would be primed to sign him permanently.