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‘He appears to be stuck in limbo’ – 29-y/o’s Bristol City future uncertain: Six Pointer

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Bristol City’s transfer window is, at this point, a difficult one to grade.

12 new faces were added to Lee Johnson’s squad, a mix of former loan signings who were familiar to the club and additions who are slightly more left-field, but it was a summer that was perhaps more defined by what was lost.

After lots of interest throughout the summer star centre-back Adam Webster joined Brighton on the first weekend of the season, promising young defender Lloyd Kelly made the switch to Bournemouth and Robins stalwarts Marlon Pack (Cardiff City) and Jamie Paterson (Derby County) both left to join promotion rivals.

One man who looked likely to leave but still remains at the club is striker Matty Taylor.

In our six pointer we quiz FLW writer Ned Holmes about Taylor’s situation at Ashton Gate.

Firstly, what is his status at Bristol City?

“He appears to be stuck in limbo at City.

“There were reports throughout the summer that he would be leaving the club when the Robins added a new forward, with Charlton Athletic heavily linked with a move.

“However, it seems that the timing of the signing of Benik Afobe, who joined very late on deadline day, may have meant no such deal could be done.

“Afobe’s arrival pushes Taylor further down the pecking order at Ashton Gate, with Famara Diedhiou, Andreas Weimann and, probably even, Antoine Semenyo also above him.

“City assistant coach Jamie McAllister told the Bristol Post yesterday that there had been loan bids that had fallen through in the window and that the forward had been given a few days off to get his head straight.”

What other offers does he have?

“With the transfer window having closed for Premier League and Championship sides, it seems Taylor’s only option for a move would be to drop down into the lower leagues.

“League One Oxford United, where the 29-year-old learned his trade and made his senior debut, are reportedly interested and Taylor was pictured at their game against Peterborough United on the weekend talking to manager Karl Robinson.

“However, McAllister appears to have played down that move and there doesn’t seem to be any other concrete links at this time.”

What can he offer sides?

“A diminutive figure, what he lacks in physicality Taylor makes up for with his industrious work ethic and high-tempo play.

“His goalscoring record at City is not particularly impressive–eight goals in 75 games–but he has been a useful asset for Johnson, especially in linking-up play.

“On his day he can be a real nuisance for defences with his attacking movement and pressing–constantly buzzing around and causing issues.

“Prior to making the controversial switch across Bristol from Rovers to City, he had shown himself as a goalscorer in the lower leagues–grabbing 68 goals in 132 appearances as he helped Rovers climb from the Conference to League One.”

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How did he perform last season?

“Taylor only started 10 games in the Championship last season, coming off the bench to feature in a further 23 games, but had his most productive season in a City shirt.

“The 29-year-old scored four goals and provided six assists and played an important role for Johnson, regularly providing additional attacking impetus off the bench.”

Does he still have a role to play?

“Yes, if he were to stay at City I do think there is still a place for him in Johnson’s plans.

“The 38-year-old coach was clear early in the summer that he wanted as many options as possible in the final third and would look to regularly switch between them this season–often, in a horses for courses style approach.

“Taylor offers a different option than the other four strikers in the City squad, so he will likely still have a role to play but it may mean fewer minutes than last season.”

Finally, do you think he will push for a move?

“I think if an offer comes in from a top-half or ambitious League One side then he may ask the club to let him leave.

“At 29, it is tough to say how many seasons he has left at his best, so surely he will want to go somewhere where he can play regularly.

“He is probably looking for a guarantee about playtime from Johnson but I can’t see him getting one.

“Taylor will likely go down in City folklore for making the switch from Rovers and his part in Korey Smith’s winner against Manchester United but I think his career would now benefit from him leaving the club.”

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