‘It’s not really a possibility’ - Bristol City bosses’ latest comments suggest striker is staying put

Robins striker to get ‘more opportunities’ after FA Cup winner against Swansea City.

It’s been a quiet January transfer window at Ashton Gate so far with Bristol City yet to bring in any new players.

Head coach Nigel Pearson, who is preparing his side for their next EFL Championship fixture against Blackburn Rovers this weekend, has allowed defender Ryley Towler to leave the club and join League One side Portsmouth while 21-year old midfielder Same Pearson has gone out on loan to League Two club AFC Wimbledon. However, the former Leicester City and Watford gaffers’ most recent comments suggest another player who has been linked with a move away from the club will be staying put in the current window.

City’s 20-year old striker Sam Bell, who came through the club’s youth system and has begun breaking into the first team after a series of loan spells, has been linked with another short term move - this time to League One side Cheltenham Town. Bell has made eight appearances in all competitions this time and scored the extra time winner in their FA Cup third round replay against Swansea City on Tuesday night.

Speaking in a press conference last week, Pearson not only said he planned to keep the forward at Ashton Gate for the remainder of the season, but also that there would be more opportunities coming his way. He said: “He’s a player who had a lot of interest in the summer to take on loan and our view on that is that loan deals for players have to be right. Sam is the type of player and personality that has gained more benefit from staying with us.

“With his good form this year he will get more opportunities between now and the end of the season. It’s not really a possibility for him to go out on loan just because we didn’t feel it was right in the summer and actually we think he can have a very positive contribution between now and the end of the season.”

Bell’s first two loan spells away from City came in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns, first with Western League Premier Division side Clevedon Town and then with Yate Town of the Southern League Premier Division. Last season the striker had another short term loan spell, this time with Grimsby Town in the National League, where he scored one goal in five appearances.