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‘They would be right to be concerned’ – Premier League side were monitoring key Bristol City figure: The verdict

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Watford were weighing up a move for Bristol City boss Lee Johnson as they looked for a successor to Javi Gracia.

The Spaniard was surprisingly dismissed by the Hornets over the international break and Bristol Live revealed that the Robins chief was on the radar of the Premier League, although they ended up going for former manager Quique Sanchez Flores to fill the vacancy.

Of course, that will be a relief to the fans, as Johnson has done a fine job at Ashton Gate over the years, building an exciting, young squad, despite regularly losing key players.

However, should the fact that top-flight clubs are seemingly considering him as a potential manager worry Bristol City that they might not be able to keep hold of the 38-year-old moving forward.

Here our writers take a look…

Louie Chandler

“I don’t really think so.

“I suspect a lot of teams around Watford’s level have considered a move for Johnson in the past year or so and nothing seems to have come close yet.

“It seems like he has a real connection with the Robins and is very deeply embedded in their future plans so I think it would take a lot to drag him away.

“Promotion is a real possibility for the club this season and I don’t think he would have left, even if the Hornets made an offer.”

Chris Thorpe

“If I were Bristol City, I would be potentially look to tie Johnson down to a better contract, mainly so that they can be safe in the knowledge that he won’t be going anywhere without the club being well compensated.”

“I think Johnson would have been making a mistake by going to Watford anyway, they’re not exactly a club that keeps managers for long periods of time.”

“I believe City will be comfortable in the knowledge that Johnson has built up a dynasty at Ashton Gate, meaning that it would take a brilliant offer to prize him away from the club.”

“Also, with City being one of the most progressive clubs in the division, both on and off the pitch, I believe that they will already have a succession plan in place for when/if Johnson departs the club.”

Ned Holmes

“Yes, I think so.

“It is impossible to ignore how good a job he has done with the Robins over the past few years.

“They have regularly seen their best players depart but have improved their league position every season since they returned to the Championship and now has them competing near the top of the division.

“The 38-year-old seems to always gets the best out of the players at his disposal and has experience developing young players – traits which will make him very attractive to bigger clubs.

“Johnson seems settled and committed to the project at Ashton Gate but they would be right to be concerned about interest in him from bigger clubs.”

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