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…
Bristol City travel to Pride Park tonight looking for back-to-back league wins, having gained their first three points of the season in the 2-0 win over QPR in the Championship.
Ahead of tonight’s match, Robins manager Lee Johnson has made a decision about his squad and allowed striker Matty Taylor to move to Oxford United on a season-long loan.
Taylor, 29, is a product of the Oxford youth and academy sides who made seven senior appearances, before moving into non-league football with Didcot Town and North Leigh.
So have Bristol City made a mistake by letting Taylor leave the club?
“This is more of a risk than a mistake.
“It does seem as though both parties felt that a parting of the ways was the best thing for all concerned here, so you can understand why Bristol City were happy to sanction this move.
“In Famara Diedhiou, Andreas Weimann and Benik Afobe, they do have plenty of other options upfront at Ashton Gate, so they shouldn’t miss Taylor too much, unless they suffer something of an injury crisis in that area of the pitch – which is where the risk comes in.
“Even then, I do think that is reduced somewhat by the January recall clause in Taylor’s deal, which means that they may not be stuck without the striker all season, should they need him back at Ashton Gate at any point.”
“Absolutely not, no. He’s scored nine goals in 75 outings, that’s simply not enough.
“I remember when he first moved there from Bristol Rovers, I tipped him to fail and he did. Making the switch across the city is not easy and I was never sold on his prowess anyway.
“He had a couple of good seasons with the Gas, but they came in League Two and the National League. He just never made the step up.
“He has scored in League One before but I’m not convinced he’s a world-beating signing for Oxford either.”
“It hasn’t worked out for Taylor at the Robins and it looked unlikely that his fortunes would change this season, as he has fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Benik Afobe.
“He has mainly be utilised as a sub by Lee Johnson and it is a role that he is not well suited to, as although he provides energy he lacks pace or a physical presence which would allow him to be an impact sub.
“He has made 75 appearances for Bristol City and scored just eight, which shows that the Championship is a level above what he is capable of. His lack of goals and game time has probably harmed his confidence too so the loan move to Oxford will allow him to rediscover form and if he impresses he could be in with a chance of breaking into Johnson’s team once again.”
“In Afobe and Diedhiou The Robins have two very good Championship strikers to choose from, and the only worry would be that they are too similar, whilst Taylor offers something different – poaching instinct.”