Bristol City’s next transfer priorities after Aberdeen, QPR and Brighton signings

Ross McCorie had his first taste of visiting Ashton Gate - his new home. (Image: Rogan/Fever Pitch)Ross McCorie had his first taste of visiting Ashton Gate - his new home. (Image: Rogan/Fever Pitch)
Ross McCorie had his first taste of visiting Ashton Gate - his new home. (Image: Rogan/Fever Pitch)
Bristol City's already addressed several areas that needed attention - but there's more work to be done.

Bristol City’s summer is so far going swimmingly as they gear up for a campaign that will hopefully bring them some progression.

Their pre-season schedule has been confirmed, and most of their matches are at the High Performance Centre, whilst a few of their players have been called up for international duty this month, including Joe Low who surprisingly made the Wales squad. Rob Dickie and Ross McCrorie have also both been announced, with transfer fees paid for both summer recruits.

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The transfer window opened at midnight on Wednesday, June 14, but already two new signings have been confirmed, and Haydon Roberts is expected to join this week after agreeing a deal with the Robins. With the window now open, we assess what should be the priority for City for the next two months. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Another centre-back

Roberts arrival provides cover at centre-back, but also at left-back. He’s predominantly a centre-back, but last season he was played mainly at left-back at Derby County. Jay Dasilva’s departure, as well as Joe Bryan’s decision to not rejoin the club, means he’s likely to compete with Cameron Pring for a left-back berth.

There’s a decision still to be made by Tomas Kalas on whether he stays or not. He’s been offered a new contract albeit on significantly reduced terms to his first contract, and there needs to be a decision at some point. He is exploring other options at this point, and Nigel Pearson has no issue with that.

The Czech Republic international missed most of last season, and his absence was at times felt. He put in a great display against Manchester City despite the heavy defeat, but in the same week, was injured against Cardiff City and sidelined.

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Dickie’s arrival is a good one, as he has that Championship experience, and has also had the benefit of playing alongside Mark Sykes. A left-sided centre-back would be a good thing to have though, especially with Rob Atkinson still recovering.

Another goalkeeper?

Stefan Bajic will be late returning for pre-season after being called up to France’s Under-21’s squad for the UEFA EURO U21 Championships this summer. He joined City when he was injured, and made just one senior appearance - a Carabao Cup defeat against Lincoln City, before being loaned out.

He’ll be given time this summer to show that he’s ready for the Championship, but Nigel Pearson did admit he could be looking for a goalkeeper. Harvey Wiles-Richards was back-up to Max O’Leary when Nikita Haikin departed, but maybe it’d be best for him to get a loan move to a National League outfit after a brief spell with Gloucester City last season.

Loan destinations for their fringe and younger players

Nigel Pearson has yet to use the loan market to sign a player for the club, but it’s important that their younger players get some experience. The last few years have seen players remain at Ashton Gate, and play for the Under-21’s, rather than go out on loan, and it’s worked well, because the likes of Sam Bell, Tommy Conway and Omar Taylor-Clarke have all got opportunities from it. The latter could probably do with a move to a League Two outfit after a breakthrough from January onwards, he coped well with the demands of the Championship, but if he can get some more senior experience under his belt, he could develop in to a good young player.

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Dylan Kadji, who made a few appearances at the start of the 2023/23 campaign was loaned out to Swindon Town, and whilst it wasn’t a complete success, he at least had a different experience. Kadji will likely be available for a loan again, and this time it’s likely to be a season-long loan deal, so the destination will be key.

A departure may not happen, but maybe it would be beneficial for Kane Wilson to have six months away, to help get his confidence and fitness back up, after a difficult first year at the club. He joined from Forest Green Rovers last summer, and was expected to sort out the right-back problem City had, but Mark Sykes ended up playing the role, and then George Tanner became the first-choice. Ross McCrorie can play right-back, and Tanner is likely to be first choice, so Wilson could benefit from a few months away, as there’s a good player in there somewhere.

Alex Scott contingency plan

It’s understood that no one has yet met the valuation of £25m for Alex Scott, and may not purchase him this summer. Premier League clubs like West Ham and AFC Bournemouth are said to be put off the price, but ultimately it’s not up to City to appease the marker. They want to keep hold of their best player and will only sell if the price is right. Ultimately though, if a club feels they need a new signing come the end of the window, and are ready to push on and sign Scott, then there needs to be a continengency plan. Scott is at the forefront of this youthful City revolution, and any money that they receive for him should be reinvested back in to the team, and whilst the business so far has been good, if he were to be sold then there should be a big money signing to come in.

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