The start of the transfer window is fast approaching and Bristol City are yet to confirm any new arrivals.
With 11 senior players departing, Nigel Pearson will be looking to start his squad rebuild this summer and Oxford United defender Rob Atkinson appears to be someone on his list.
The Bristol Post has reported that the Robins are keen on the defender but there could be issues over the fee.
Even so, we’ve examined what the impact would be on the current City squad should the South West club complete the signing of the 22-year-old by highlighting one winner and one loser…
Winner: Tomas Kalas
Unlike much of the squad, City’s skipper was excellent last season and surely showed Pearson that the defence should be built around him.
The defensive line was constantly changing last term and Kalas would benefit from playing with the same centre-back next to him week in, week out.
With that in mind, the City boss will surely be desperate to find him a defensive partner and with Nathan Baker, Alfie Mawson, and Adrian Mariappa all gone he may have to look to the transfer market.
Atkinson looks as though he could be an ideal candidate. Not only is the Oxford centre-back solid defensively and a fantastic reader of the game, but he also is comfortable in possession and loves to bring the ball forward – characteristics not unlike Adam Webster.
Clearly, the 22-year-old is not at Webster’s level just yet but arguably Kalas’ best season for City came when he was partnered with the Brighton defender, so he would surely benefit from the arrival of a player with similar characteristics.
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Loser: Taylor Moore
Taylor Moore dropped down the pecking order last season but the departure of a number of the Robins’ other centre-back options means he could get a chance to impress in 2021/22.
The arrival of Atkinson would likely spell trouble for him, however, limiting his opportunities and pushing him back out of favour.
Moore is 24 now and with his contract set to run until 2023, you feel next season is one in which he has to prove his worth at Ashton Gate – this deal could make that difficult for him.