Blackpool view on Bristol City, Reading and Swansea City transfer target from Man City

Bristol City are one of two clubs interested in signing the highly-rated Manchester City starlet
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Lewis Fiorini is the latest name to be linked to Bristol City as Nigel Pearson continues to assemble a squad capable of challenging for the play-offs.

The Robins are in Austria right now, but that doesn't mean that any deals can't be done whilst Pearson and his coaching staff put the squad through their paces. Kane Wilson's departure has been spoken about with Birmingham City now joining the race, with a fee of £250k suggested for whoever wants to take him.

As for incomings, Fiorini's name came up on Sunday with City along with their Championship rivals Swansea City, and recently relegated Reading, who are all said to be keeping tabs. Any move would be a loan signing, and that would be interesting given Bristol City have yet to sign a loan player during Pearson's two-and-a-half-year tenure.

The 21-year-old has just come off a season-long loan move with Blackpool, having been at Lincoln City the year before. The Tangerines were of course relegated, and so Fiorini's next move is really important. Is he a good fit for Bristol City however? We speak to Matt Scrafton, who was the long-serving football reporter at the Blackpool Gazette to get the lowdown.

What kind of player is Lewis Fiorini?

He’s a technically proficient midfielder that likes to get on the ball and dictate the pace of the game. He played most of his football with Blackpool at the base of a midfield three, which seemed to suit his game. I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to be a tough-tackling defensive-midfielder, that’s not his style.

But if you’re building possession from the back and moving the ball through the thirds, as Blackpool wanted to do under Michael Appleton at the start of the season, Fiorini was that man to get hold of the ball in a number six role.

He can also play as a number eight, but I’d say he’s more at home in a midfield three rather than a two where you’re perhaps expected to cover more ground and get around the pitch.

What are his main attributes and where can he improve?

Despite only scoring once, he does carry a goal threat and has a good shot on him, especially with low, powerful drives from just outside the box. His physicality is probably the area where he can improve the most.

He’s got 13 Championship appearances under his belt, is he a Championship quality midfielder?

It’s difficult to judge him too much on last season given Blackpool’s struggles and the fact 13 games provides such a small sample size, but he’s certainly got the potential and deserves another shot at the Championship. As touched upon before, he’s obviously got the technical quality - you don’t play for Manchester City’s academy otherwise - it’s just the other parts of his game he might need to work on. Given what he’s up against I don’t see him making it at the Etihad, so a move to the Championship would certainly make the most sense.

Fiorini’s 14 appearances were part of a season-long loan, how come he didn’t play more games last season?

Injuries, which was the story of Blackpool’s season really. He did his hamstring in only his fifth appearance during a 1-0 away win at QPR, a game where he was really beginning to show fans what he could do, starring in midfield alongside Arsenal’s Charlie Patino. He was originally due back after the World Cup break but he suffered a recurrence in training, keeping him out until mid-February, so he was out for four months in total.

While he returned in February, he wasn’t fully fit until March which is when he began to play more regularly.

Bristol City don’t tend to use the loan market, what was Blackpool’s agreement like with Manchester City? Was it based on anything or was much of a loan fee involved?

Blackpool relied heavily on the loan market last summer and at the time, Michael Appleton hinted there were potential clauses in some of their loan moves to make them permanent come the end of the season. It was never confirmed if this was the case for Fiorini though. With Blackpool being relegated, the picture had obviously changed anyway.