Josh Brownhill’s former Bristol City teammates Ashley Williams and Kasey Palmer both played roles in the midfielder’s January exit by relaying positive stories about Burnley to the 24-year-old, according to The Athletic.
The Robins captain left Ashton Gate in January, joining the Clarets in a deal worth around £9 million and signing a four-and-a-half-year deal at the club.
Brownhill had been excellent in the first half of the 2019/20 campaign, taking the captain’s armband at the age of just 23 and serving as one of Lee Johnson’s key lieutenants.
His exit was a huge blow for City but hardly a surprise, given their record for developing players and selling them to Premier League clubs for a profit.
Brownhill joined Burnley, but it is understood that a number of other top-flight clubs were tracking the midfielder, including Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Brighton, and West Ham – who showed some late-window interested.
According to The Athletic, the dressing room at Burnley was a key factor, with advice from ex-teammates, both at City and elsewhere, playing an important role in the move.
The report claims that Williams and Palmer, who had heard from Jack Cork and Nahki Wells, both relayed positive stories to Brownhill about the North West club, as did former Barnsley teammate Kevin Long.
Before the season was put on hold, Brownhill made his Premier League debut – coming off the bench late on in a 3-0 win against Bournemouth.
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Brownhill’s exit was a huge blow for the Robins but you feel fans are unlikely to hold the move against him – he was offered an opportunity in the Premier League and he took it.
It’s interesting to hear that advice from ex-teammates played an important role in his decision.
It is particularly fitting that Wells, who would go the other way later in the window, was one of the people whose positive accounts was relayed to Brownhill.