With 11 senior players departing and Bristol City’s transfer budget understood to be fairly limited, Nigel Pearson is going to have to be shrewd as he looks to rebuild his squad this summer.
It would be no surprise to see the Robins lean on the free agent market and one of the recent arrivals to it should be someone they show an interest in.
When Nottingham Forest published their retained and released list earlier this week, it was confirmed that Sammy Ameobi’s time at the City Ground had come to an end.
Reports have suggested that the Reds could return for Ameobi at some point but Pearson and co. should be moving quickly to ensure that City capitalise on the East Midlands club’s decision.
The Robins have a fair bit to work on ahead of 2021/22 but revitalising their attack is surely top of that list.
With just 360 in total, City had 82 fewer shots than any other side in the Championship last term (Whoscored) while too often they looked stale and toothless.
A replacement for the departed Famara Diedhiou clearly needs to be a top priority but adding more quality on the flanks should help ease their offensive woes.
While eight goals and 11 assists are hardly remarkable stats, Ameobi’s two seasons with Forest have showcased his dynamism as well as his ability to make something out of nothing and create a moment of magic in a game that appears to be drifting.
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The winger certainly has his flaws and there will be games in which Robins supporters are left frustrated by misplaced passes, squandered opportunities, or poor touches.
But the departures of the likes of Diedhiou, Liam Walsh, and Jamie Paterson has left City’s squad lacking in a huge amount of creative spark and that’s something that Ameobi does offer.
We already know that money is likely to be tight so the chance to sign a free agent that can be an attacking gamechanger on his day should not be squandered.
The Athletic has indicated that the 29-year-old is likely to be within the budget range of many other Championship clubs and that there was concern at Forest that the decision to release him may leave them looking foolish.
Simply put, City need to ensure that they’re the side that capitalise on Forest’s decision and give Ameobi the chance to make them regret ever letting him go.