Rotherham United striker Michael Smith has emerged as a potential Famara Diedhiou replacement at Bristol City, with the Bristol Post revealing he’s on Nigel Pearson’s transfer shortlist.
City aren’t the only club interested, however, as Gazette Live has reported that Middlesbrough are also keen.
Even so, we’ve examined the potential impacts the signing of Smith could have at the Bs3 club…
Sign a replacement for Famara Diedhiou
Though he wasn’t at his best in the last few months of his Ashton Gate career, Diedhiou’s departure has left City needing to add more firepower.
The Senegal international added 51 goals across four seasons with City and given how lacklustre their attack was in 2020/21 – with no side in the division having fewer shots – it would be crazy not to try and replace him.
Landing Smith would mean the Robins had done just that by adding a player that has experience finding the net at Championship level (18 goals and seven assists across two seasons).
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Find a cut-price solution to one of Nigel Pearson’s problems
According to the Bristol Post, signing a new target man is high on Pearson’s list of priorities.
Smith is certainly that, with only Kieffer Moore having won more aerial duels than the 29-year-old’s 308 last term, which is 99 more than any player in the City squad (Diedhiou with 209).
Given he only has one year left on his current deal and Rotherham were relegated last term, the striker is unlikely to cost too much either.
As Pearson is understood to only have a fairly modest transfer budget this summer it would be a major boost to be able to solve the striking issue cheaply.
Add a hard-working forward as Pearson looks to change squad culture
Rotherham boss Paul Warne has been full of praise for Smith since his arrival at the Yorkshire club, highlighting the “phenomenal” physical output he puts in and the “ridiculous” distances he runs for the team.
On top of that, he’s lauded his “commitment to being the best version of himself” as being “beyond admirable”.
With Pearson looking to change the squad culture at Ashton Gate, adding that sort of player is surely a smart move.