January could be a vital month for Bristol City, with a number of injured players set to return and the winter transfer window open.
Dean Holden’s men have kept pace with the top six so far but he may be hoping to do a few bits of business after the turn of the year as he looks to give them the best possible chance of ending their 12-year wait for the play-offs this term.
One January decision that could help boost their chances and dent those of a rival would be recalling attacking midfielder Kasey Palmer, who is on loan at Swansea City.
Palmer has impressed with the Swans and bringing him back could help City solve a recent issue.
When the Robins have been poor this season, they’ve often looked toothless in the final third – struggling to create chances for their strikers and lacking a spark in midfield.
Their loanee is just the sort of player that can provide that spark, particularly if he was given the freedom of being the more attacking midfielder in a 4-3-3 – the system that Holden has used regularly in recent weeks.
With the likes of Famara Diedhiou, Antoine Semenyo, Chris Martin, and Nahki Wells making runs ahead of him, the 24-year-old could be the solution to the creativity problems we’ve seen at times this term.
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On top of that, the rule change that has allowed EFL clubs to make five substitutions and have nine players on the bench would give the City boss more flexibility of how and when to use Palmer.
It is a move that would be a win-win as losing the midfielder would be a blow for Swansea, who are without doubt one of the Robins’ play-off rivals.
The Ashton Gate faithful have not yet seen the best from Palmer despite glimpses of the £3.5 million signing’s quality but this could be the ideal time for him to return to Bs3 and prove his worth.