Bristol City defender Nathan Baker has insisted that he always wanted to remain at Ashton Gate during the summer transfer window despite having initially been released by the Robins.
Nigel Pearson’s first summer as Bristol City manager was an eventful one with the Robins making the decision to get rid of a lot of players that were at the end of their deals with the club.
Baker was amongst the group of players that the Robins decided to allow to leave Ashton Gate at the end of last season. That came after the defender managed to make just three league appearances last term after enduring injury issues throughout most of the campaign.
The 30-year-old had been linked with a potential move to Coventry City during the summer in the period where he was available on a free transfer.
However, eventually, Bristol City managed to agree a new contract with the defender and that has seen Baker remain with the Robins.
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Speaking to Bristol Live, Baker has now revealed that he was never really considering moving anywhere else this summer and always wanted to re-sign for Bristol City.
He said: “I believe the door was always left open for me.
“My injury last season didn’t help things. I managed to get the last couple of games which was a big tick, something I needed to do, to prove myself.
“The door was always left open, it was just a matter of sorting out the contract situation and we managed to do that.
“I’ve been here for five years, so yeah (it was disappointing), but I was never really thinking this was 100 per cent. With the circumstances going on, it made things different, but I believed it my ability.
“With the new gaffer coming in I wanted to prove that I wanted to work for him and we came to an agreement.”
Offering a new deal to Baker was something that was always going to be a bit of a risk considering the defender’s injury issues last season.
However, the 30-year-old has so far this season managed to play an important role for Pearson’s side in the Championship and he seems to be avoiding a repeat of the injury setbacks he suffered last year.
The defender offers real experience for the Robins and he knows the club inside out. That is something that is very important for Pearson to have within his squad, and it is clear that he has faith in the defender to perform and be a key player in his starting line-up this term.
It would have been a blow for Bristol City had Baker been signed by some other side in the summer whilst he was a free-agent.
There would likely have been interest in someone with the 30-year-old’s Championship experience from a number of sides but it seems that he always wanted to stay with the Robins.
Having a player that is committed to the club in the way that Baker can only be a positive for the Robins and the defender is proving to have been worth a new deal with his performances so far this term.