Bristol City have made Anis Mehmeti their first signing of deadline day signings with the Wycombe Wanderers star joining on a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
It was reported by Telegraph journalist Mike McGath on Monday night that a fee had been agreed for with the Chairboys and that he would be undergoing a medical today. His move has been finalised and the club have announced his move.
Mehmeti could be viewed as a like-for-like replacement for Antoine Semenyo, as though he is not a central striker, he has been playing on the left-hand side for Wycombe this season, and can also play just behind the forwards. The 22-year-old’s arrival is one that is exciting Robins supporters given how highly rated he is amongst the English Football League’s best young talents.
To get more of an insight in to what Bristol City are getting, The 72 and VAVEL journalist Harry Ware, a Wycombe Wanderers supporter, gives the lowdown on the Albania Under-21 international.
What kind of player is Anis Mehmeti?
Mehmeti is the kind of player who can provide something out of ‘nothing’ situations. He has matured a lot as a player since his first season with the club, yet still possesses that skill about him that not many other players have. He has contributed to 12 goals this season in a Wycombe shirt and has been crucial to the Chairboys’ front line this season. The key to him having success at Bristol City will be whether or not he is allowed the freedom to drift away from the Robins’ style. The Blues are known for a long ball style and have been in the last decade. However, Mehmeti brings a different element to how Wycombe have played this season, and it has contributed hugely to the ball being played on the floor a lot more.
What are Mehmeti’s strengths and weaknesses?
Whilst playing out wide, if given space the Albania Under 21 international can do anything. When one-on-one against League 1 defenders he has rarely failed to create an opportunity. However, he has at times tended to take on players too many times, meaning attacks are slowed down or there is a turnover in possession. Under Gareth Ainsworth he has improved the physical side of his game. The more he has played for the Chairboys, the more he has dealt with the other parts of the game away from one-on-one situations, which will only benefit him if he is to return to the Championship.
What system do you think benefits Mehmeti the most? And does he thrive off of playing alongside a certain type of player?
With Bristol City operating in a 4-3-3, he will fit right in at Ashton Gate. He has played regularly in a front three this season and has had his best season whilst playing out on the left. Whilst he started his career at Wycombe in more of a central position, he has developed brilliantly out on the wing and will only get better. Mehmeti has always played alongside a target man whilst at the Chairboys, which benefits him when crossing in rather than taking on his man.
Do you think Mehmeti can deal with the demands of Championship football?
I definitely think he can handle it. Not only does he have experience of the Championship in his first season at Wycombe, but with League One growing more competitive each year, he has experience playing under pressure in big matches. He also scored three goals whilst in the Championship for the Chairboys and played a big part as Wycombe almost completed the great escape that season. His first goal for the club was against QPR in that season as the Chairboys grabbed a 1-1 draw.
Before his departure, how much would you have valued him at?
Nottingham Forest were interested in Mehmeti earlier on in the January transfer window. The fee was reported to be around £5million, although that does seem a fairly hefty fee. However, with the importance he has in Ainsworth’s side, I cannot see the club letting go of the Albanian for cheap. What also needs to be considered is that Wycombe have rarely had players leave the club for high fees. The club has always hovered around the lower ends of the football league and non-league and have only started selling players for higher fees in recent years. I think he is worth between £2million and £3million with how important he has been for the Chairboys, but I think a fee of between £1million and £2million is more realistic with Wycombe being in League One.