Forward returns to Bristol City as former Robins boss takes Saikou Janneh at Shrewsbury Town

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Many of Bristol City’s young stars are out on loan but some are due to return which could help Nigel Pearson should a COVID outbreak happen

Bristol City’s squad size looks set to increase for at least the immediate future with the return of two youngsters from their loans in the non-league.

Forward Louis Britton has returned to the High Performance Centre following the conclusion of his loan at Woking, where during his one-month with The Cardinals he played four times, but failed to find the target.

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He took to social media to thank his club, which signalled that his time with Surrey club would not be extended: “Thoroughly enjoyed my loan spell @wokingfc,” Britton tweeted. “Thanks for all your support since I arrived. Wish you all the best for the rest of the season.”

The plan was always for Britton to return in the New Year as when he initially joined the non-league outfit, City said he would join them whilst preparing him for a ‘Football League loan’.

Louis Britton was on loan at Torquay United - managed by former Robins boss Gary Johnson- last season. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Louis Britton was on loan at Torquay United - managed by former Robins boss Gary Johnson- last season. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Louis Britton was on loan at Torquay United - managed by former Robins boss Gary Johnson- last season. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

A move to a team in League One or Two was not possible at the time Britton went out as they are bound by the transfer window. The National League meanwhile do not operate between transfer periods and instead can sign players throughout the season.

Britton has excelled at youth level with City and was the Professional Development League top scorer last year with 15 goals.

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The 20-year-old joined City back in 2019 after initially playing for Bath City and nearby Mangotsfield United. He has one senior appearance for the club, netting on his professional debut against Brentford back in May.

Despite his form for the U23s last season, as well as a few more this season, manager Nigel Pearson instructed the forward to improve his fitness levels to get into his plans.

Now he has returned to the club, there will be a discussion on whether to keep him at the club in the case of bodies needed should the team be affected by a COVID outbreak, which has happened to other clubs.

But with the likes of Antoine Semenyo, Chris Martin and Nahki Wells, as well as Tommy Conway in the squad, the likelihood is he will be shipped out again.

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Britton is not the only player who’s short term future is up in the air, with more decisions to be made by academy boss Brian Tinnion and loan clubs this week.

City have sent a number of their younger players out on loan this season and Sam Bell’s loan at Grimsby Town is up this month. Bell has been with the club since November and has scored once in five appearances for the club, playing at the same time as Ryley Towler.

Mariners boss Paul Hurst however may not feel inclined to keep the player with a meeting planned with City chiefs in the next week over the future of the loan.

Meanwhile, most recently, striker Saikou Janneh joined League One outfit Shrewsbury Town on loan until the end of the season.

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He links up with former Robins boss Steve Cotterill as the experienced Football League veteran tries to steer the Shropshire club to safety.

Janneh has been playing for City’s development team for a year after returning from an unsuccessful loan spell at Newport County and will need better fortunes if he is to impress his parent club to give him a new deal.

Commenting on the signing, Cotterill praised the quality of the academy at Bristol City and said the club trusts Shrewsbury to develop the Gambia born striker.

“He’ll bring pace, that’s the one thing,” the 57-year-old said to the Shropshire Star.

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“He’ll bring inexperience, he’ll do some silly things, I expect, but hopefully he’ll bring some good things as well.

“He’s only a young boy, he’s determined, he wants to do well and he’s out of that Bristol City academy that’s produced a few players over the years.

“We’re really pleased we have a good connection with Bristol City, they know when the boys come out to us that they’re going to be coached, well looked after, disciplined in the right way.”

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