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The 19-y/o that should be looking to prove Bristol City don’t need a new forward

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Bristol City have made their pursuit of a new forward no secret this summer as they look to bolster their squad ahead of the upcoming season.

Lee Johnson’s push for more firepower is understandable. City finished just four points off the play-off places in eighth last season but scored 10 goals fewer than any side in the top six and 34 fewer than league winners Norwich City.

The South West side lacked goalscoring consistency–Andi Weimann flourished at the beginning of his debut season at Ashton Gate and Famara Diedhiou came up with some big goals, but with the latter top-scoring with 13, 2018/19 was the first season in which no City player scored more than 18 goals since their return to the Championship in 2015.

City have just 13 days to sign a forward before the close of the transfer window, but does Johnson have a ready-made forward option in his squad already in the shape of Saikou Janneh?

The 19-year-old has not appeared for the Robins senior side but was sensational on loan at Torquay United last season, scoring 18 goals and providing 14 assists as the Gulls won the National League South, and he should be looking at the current situation in BS3 as an opportunity.

He has certainly caught the attention of the manager and the fans following his performance off the bench in the 4-3 victory against Forest Green Rovers.

Janneh came on with the Robins 3-1 down after 63 minutes and turned the game for his side with his energy and direct play.

Under Johnson, the teenager will know that if he proves himself good enough, his age will not matter. The English coach has championed young talent since he arrived at Ashton Gate, with academy products such as Lloyd Kelly and Bobby Reid becoming first-team regulars.

City clearly hold him in high regard and see him as a player for the future–having given him a new four year deal in June–but he must use the club’s current struggles in their pursuit for a new striker to prove he can be a useful option now.

The City coach told BBC Radio that he wants a wide variety of options in his forward line as he believes it is important to be able to chop and change to break down different defences.

These comments should be a huge boost for Janneh because they indicate that he could play a role this season, whether they sign a new striker or not.

The 19-year-old is not dissimilar to City’s reported top target Eddie Nketiah. Both offer Johnson a different option to the strikers currently at his disposal with their pace and direct dribbling, and his arrival could spell trouble for the teenager.

But the Robins look unlikely to bring in the Arsenal forward after Unai Emery’s recent comments and their other rumoured target is Barnsley’s Kieffer Moore, a big target man, so hope still remains for Janneh.

The striker showed at the New Lawn the impact he can have for City and that should be just the start, it is up to him to now show the coaching staff that he should be seriously considered as an option this season.


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

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The 19-y/o that should be looking to prove Bristol City don’t need a new forward

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