This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Dion Charles is reportedly in talks with Bristol City over a move to the Championship from Accrington Stanley.
The Northern Ireland international scored 19 goals in League One last season and now looks to be on the verge of a move to the Championship.
Accrington Stanley have been the Kings of the non-league market in recent years and Charles has proved another gem, picking him up from Southport in the summer of 2019.
John Coleman’s men even flirted with the League One play-offs last term and in looking to kick on once more will be looking to reinvest any fee for Charles before the transfer deadline, Bristol City are expected to fork out around £700,000 as reported on Sky Sports Transfer Centre (1:06pm) to match Stanley’s valuation with one year left on the 25-year-old’s contract.
Here, we get the thoughts of a selection of FLW writers on whether Bristol City need Dion Charles, and how good of an addition he could be at Ashton Gate…
If the Robins are actually in talks to bring Charles to Ashton Gate then I think he’s the kind of striker that Nigel Pearson is missing – but it’s not City’s usual kind of signing from years gone by.
They’ve splashed the cash in recent years on Famara Diedhiou, Nahki Wells and even further back Jonathan Kodjia – all strikers with pedigree at Championship level or the top flight of countries further afield.
Charles is different in the sense that he’s never featured in the Championship and has spent much of his career in non-league and he’s almost a late bloomer in a sense.
But you have to take notice when someone scores 19 goals in League One and the fact that he has pace, is pretty strong for his size and can score with both feet would make him a top addition for City.
Charles is now a Northern Ireland international and if Bristol City could snap him up for a high six-figure or low seven-figure fee then in a year or 18 months time if Charles continues to be prolific at club level and perhaps on the international stage then their investment could prove fruitful.
It does look as though this could be a rather useful signing for Bristol City if they manage to get it done.
The Robins have looked like needing a striker all summer following the departure of Famara Diedhiou, but have so far yet to be able to get one through the door at Ashton Gate, and time is running out for them to do that.
As a result, a deal for Charles would be a welcome boost for Nigel Pearson’s side, particularly given his very impressive scoring record in League One for Accrington last season, does suggest he may be ready to make the step up to the Championship in the coming campaign.
Indeed, after a frustrating start to the season on the pitch, beating out some of their second-tier rivals to get this signing done would no doubt provide a welcome lift for those at Bristol City, both in the stands and on the training ground, so this does seem to be one worth pursuing for those in charge at Ashton Gate.
This could be the ideal way to finish off the window for the Robins.
Things have gone pretty quiet for them in terms of incomings over the past few weeks but Friday’s defeat to Swansea highlighted their need for more firepower and it seems the club has responded.
Charles is coming off by far the best goalscoring year of his career and would add some more quality to the South West club’s striking unit.
Given his record beyond last term is hardly exemplary, the move would come with its risks but that Pearson sees him as having the potential to be the Robins’ Jamie Vardy shows just how high the manager thinks the forward’s ceiling is.
Some attacking reinforcements are needed before the end of the window, so Charles would be a welcome addition.