Bristol City midfielder Han-Noah Massengo was missing from the matchday squad for yesterday’s match against Fulham due to an injury he sustained against Queens Park Rangers last weekend, manager Nigel Pearson has told Bristol Live.
The 20-year-old, who arrived at Ashton Gate for a hefty £8m fee from AS Monaco in August 2019, has failed to establish himself as the Robins’ most influential player despite the promise and price tag he came with, making a semi-respectable 52 appearances during his first two seasons at the second-tier side.
However, he has become a much more regular part of Pearson’s side despite the summer additions of trusted duo Matty James and Andy King, although the departure of Hungarian international Adam Nagy has only helped to provide him with more first-team opportunities.
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So far this season, the French youth international has made seven appearances from a possible ten, playing the full 90 minutes in six of these matches.
However, this injury may prove to be costly for the 20-year-old in his quest to become one of the first names on the team sheet in Bristol, and could potentially be ruled out for a couple of weeks which would rule out of action until after the next international break.
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That’s according to Pearson, who said: “If you remember at the end of the QPR game he had a bit of a problem and we’ll just have to see how that develops over the next few days and maybe a couple of weeks, but we’ll see how that goes.
“He’s had a really good start to the season and the way he plays means he’s going to pick up problems from time to time but one player’s disappointment is another’s opportunity.”
Thankfully for City, they have other options in midfield that can come in and do a good job in the middle of the park, so it isn’t the end of the world for Pearson who would have been fully focused on the Fulham match.
However, at 20 and the fee they coughed up for him back in 2019, the Robins will be keen to see him back in action as soon as possible so they can get the very best of out him and make him an integral part of the second-tier side for seasons to come.
This injury is a particularly frustrating one because it could keep him out for a couple of weeks depending on how he progresses, but the international break could give him the sufficient time to rehabilitate and recover ahead of their busy fixture list after the next interval.
There’s no doubt he would be a miss during upcoming tricky away ties at Millwall and Peterborough United, both of which could prove to be banana skins for Nigel Pearson’s side with the home atmosphere again them, but easing him gradually could pay dividends for the long term.
It’s not as if they’re in any sort of relegation battle at this current stage either, so if they don’t need to risk him with the other options they have in midfield, then they shouldn’t.