After suffering two frustrating injuries last season, Bristol City’s Saikou Janneh is a player that will be hungry to make the most of his move to Newport County on loan.
The 20-year-old dazzled at points during the Robins’ 2019/20 pre-season but injured his knee before a loan move to Doncaster Rovers could be completed that summer and then last January, with a move to Swindon Town close, suffered ankle ligament damage.
Back fit and firing, Janneh joined Newport on a season-long loan back at the end of August – a destination that has helped both Antoine Semenyo and Tyreeq Bakinson in their successful journeys to the City first team in recent years.
It has now been nearly two months since the striker left Ashton Gate to join the Exiles and he has shown some promising signs as he makes his first steps in the Football League.
The first positive from City’s perspective is that he has been a regular fixture under Michael Flynn, making 10 appearances already, but he is yet to really find his feet in front of goal.
Janneh will be hoping to kick-on after grabbing his first EFL goal, and the only one to his name so far, against Tranmere Rovers earlier this month.
Janneh scored his first league goal for Newport in their 1-0 win against Tranmere today ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/965T8bxMLG
— BCFC Loan Squad (@BCFCLoanSquad) October 17, 2020
The 20-year-old may not have proven prolific quite yet but he’s certainly shown his dynamism for Newport and doesn’t seem to be short on confidence.
As well as averaging 1.56 progressive runs and 3.97 touches in the opposition penalty area per 90 this term, Janneh has made an average of 5.82 dribbles (Wyscout).
It’s his quality in the final third that Flynn and co will be looking to improve, however, with the Robins man hitting the target with just 14.3% of his shots and connecting with only 5.6% of his crosses so far (Wyscout).
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There’s no doubting Janneh’s ability in those positions – having grabbed 18 goals and 14 assists on loan with Torquay United in the 2018/19 campaign – but it may just be a case of adjusting to the step up.
Though he has looked raw so far, the striker’s contributions have helped Newport to move to the top of the League Two table through eight games.
Flynn appears to see the City man as one of his key weapons moving forward and that faith should only help the 20-year-old improve.
As we approach the start of November, there are yet to be any real fireworks from the Robins forward but a promising start should leave him high in confidence.