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Sell or keep? Callum O’Dowda at Bristol City as contract expiry looms

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January is fast approaching and with it the winter transfer window meaning EFL clubs may soon have some decisions to make. 

At Bristol City, action may soon need to be taken about Callum O’Dowda’s future as the winger’s current contract is set to expire in the summer.

The Robins do have the option of a 12-month extension but with money relatively tight at the moment, they’ll be weighing up whether it’s worth keeping hold of someone that managed just 19 appearances last term and has made only seven in 2021/22.

If they don’t plan to trigger that extension then cashing in on him in January is an option as it would mean they don’t see him walk away for nothing in the summer.

With that in mind, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of selling or keeping O’Dowda…

Sell 

City fans have been waiting for O’Dowda to live up to his potential for some time now but due to a number of factors and despite multiple false dawns, that has not yet happened.

Nigel Pearson has spoken a lot about changing the club culture and moving on an attacker that has contributed just two goals and two assists since the start of the 2019/20 campaign may be no bad thing.

The Republic of Ireland international has made 162 appearances for City across an five-year stint with the club and is 26 now, so can no longer really be considered an up-and-coming player.

A fresh start elsewhere could be the best next step for O’Dowda, while his exit would free up some space on the wage bill and should bring in a fee, even if it is a nominal one, which may allow Pearson to sign some reinforcements.

There have certainly been high points, including the 2018/19 campaign and the 2017/18 EFL Cup run, but you wonder whether the time has come for City to offload him.

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Keep 

There is a distinct lack of pace and width in attacking areas in the City squad at the moment, particularly while Antoine Semenyo has been injured.

Keeping hold of O’Dowda certainly gives the Robins coaching staff another option in those areas and that could prove vital as the season wears on because they’re only a few places above the relegation zone at the moment and getting sucked into a battle for survival is not off the cards.

The Robins have played hardball with the 26-year-old in the past and he ended up signing a new contract so there’s no reason that can’t happen again – particularly as given his form and injury problems in recent seasons, he’s unlikely to be inundated with offers from other clubs.

They have the option of triggering a one-year extension in his contract as well, which would keep him at Ashton Gate beyond the summer and mean they’re likely to be able to demand a slightly higher fee.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sell or keep? Callum O’Dowda at Bristol City as contract expiry looms

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