It could be a busy summer for Bristol City, with Nigel Pearson facing his first transfer window in charge and a significant number of players out of contract.
Rumours are already beginning to circle with reports today indicating that the Robins are set for a transfer tussle with Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers over Blackpool marksman Jerry Yates.
Landing a new goalscoring will likely be important for City come the end of the season, with Famara Diediou’s future uncertain, but it should not be top of their list of priorities. Agreeing a new deal with Liam Walsh should.
After he dazzled for Coventry City on loan last term – helping them secure promotion and winning over Sky Blue hearts in the process – this season was meant to be a big one for the midfielder at Ashton Gate.
Unfortunately, injuries have meant that the defeat to Rotherham United last weekend was his first start of 2020/21.
There is plenty more to come from Walsh but City need to ensure it comes in a red shirt, not elsewhere.
The 23-year-old is one of a number of players that are out of contract in the summer and tying down his future could well be the most important thing they do this summer.
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Creativity from midfield and control of games has been something that the Robins have lacked this season, as illustrated by the fact they’ve had the fewest shots per game and conceded the second-most (Whoscored).
Walsh – the man compared to Lionel Messi by his former Coventry teammate – could well be the answer.
He pulled the strings for the Sky Blues last term, averaging 72.7 touches, 42.6 accurate passes (the majority of which came in the opposition half), and 1.6 key accurate passes per game, as well as scoring three times and adding five assists (Sofascore).
The 23-year-old was an asset out of possession as well, with his tenacious nature highlighted by his average of 1.6 interceptions, 2 tackles, and 1.3 clearances per game (Sofascore).
The Everton academy graduate has not yet played his best football for City and letting him go now would be criminal.
By all means, they should let Pearson go shopping but keeping hold of an asset like Walsh should be top of their list of summer priorities.