Bristol City are understood to be unlikely to spend this month unless it is to replace a departing player but the club must change that approach to ensure they capitalise on a fantastic opportunity.
Football Insider has reported that Barnsley have placed a £1.2 million price-tag on Alex Mowatt as his contract is set to expire in the summer and the Robins should waste no time trying to get a deal done as the all-action midfielder could be the perfect replacement for Josh Brownhill.
The City skipper left to join Burnley in a deal worth around £9 million a year ago and the South West club have struggled to replace him, with their recent poor form and lack of fluidity illustrating that the problem remains unsolved.
What Brownhill gave the Robins was someone that would set their tempo from midfield, while also breaking up opposition attacks and contributing in the final third.
Mowatt does precisely that for Barnsley at the moment and has proven himself one of the most capable all-action central midfielders in the Championship in recent years.
A comparison of the duo’s statistics from the last 12 months highlights that the 25-year-old is almost tailormade to be Brownhill’s successor.
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According to Wyscout, both players average close to 10 successful defensive actions and between five and six interceptions per 90 minutes. They also both average between five and six interceptions per 90, winning around 60% of those.
Naturally, Barnsley’s stronger start to the season than Burnley and the difference in quality of opposition has allowed Mowatt to be more positive – adding four goals and three assists to Brownhill’s lone strike, taking three times as many shots as him, making three times as many progressive runs and more than twice the amount of forward passes per 90 (Wyscout) – but that frontfoot midfield play is exactly what Dean Holden’s side are crying out for right now and have been since their skipper moved to Turf Moor.
City’s ongoing injury issues and the fact that reinforcements that are needed at the moment is yet another reason that, if the Tykes are indeed open to selling Mowatt for £1.2 million, the Robins should be wasting no time trying to get a deal done.
Reports have indicated that the Ashton Gate outfit are unlikely to spend money this month unless it is to replace a departing player but they need to change that approach and make a move for the Barnsley captain.
After all, signing Mowatt would mean finally filling the void left by Brownhill 12 months ago.