Bristol City agree central defender deal as Nigel Pearson continues rebuilding at Ashton Gate

West Country outfit make decision on young talent Duncan Idehen who came off the bench on Saturday.

<p>Craig Forsyth (L) of Derby heads to score during Bristol City’s win at Derby County.</p>

Craig Forsyth (L) of Derby heads to score during Bristol City’s win at Derby County.

Bristol City have agreed to sign 19-year-old central defender Duncan Idehen on a permanent deal.

Manager Nigel Pearson confirmed after the Robins’ 1-3 win over Derby County on Saturday afternoon that debutant Idehen, who came on in the 72nd minute to replace midfielder Ayman Benarous in the win over the Rams, will remain in BS3 beyond the conclusion of this summer.

The young defender had only arrived at Ashton Gate last January after being released by Grimsby Town on a free transfer and after being spotted by City academy director Brian Tinnion, who was watching loan players James Morton and Owura Edwards at Blundell Park.

BristolWorld understands that a two-year deal has been agreed though there may also be an additional option year agreed too, with talks taking place recently between CEO Richard Gould, Idehen and Tinnion.

Official confirmation is expected from the club next month.

“We’ll be keeping him,” explained Pearson after the match. “He’s got physical attributes which are really, really important and we’ve not seen his passing range today but he has a good range of passing.

“He was a bit nervous to start with but he is naturally a very good defender, he’s a good destructive player and he had very simple instructions when he went on and that is to try and be a difficult opponent.

“He was very excited about being on the bench and to make his debut for a lad who has come on quite a bit - good for him.”

While Idehen enjoyed a cameo against Wayne Rooney’s side at Pride Park, the pick of the Bristol City rearguard was undoubtedly experienced battler Timm Klose, whose first goal for the club - heading in Matty James’ 79th minute free kick wrapped up back to back away wins for the Robins.

Klose himself is hopeful of a longer stay in the West Country after joining as a free transfer last January too, and that finish will have enhanced his prospects.

Bristol City had taken the lead inside 10 minutes after Andi Weimann had netted his 20th Championship goal of the season, converting a Chris Martin pass.

And Antoine Semenyo continued his return to form as he fired into the corner to make it 0-2 on 38 minutes.

Although Craig Forsyth got a goal back for the home side in the second half, Klose’s contribution saw the visitors home, and above the number of points gained in 2020/21.

And now the Robins can attempt to make it two back-to-back wins for the first time this season if they can win their final home match of the 2021/22 campaign against Hull City at Ashton Gate next weekend.

After that, Huddersfield away and an important summer of rebuilding. But in the talented Idehen, Pearson and co may have another good young prospect on the books to factor into the foundations.