Nigel Pearson reveals Bristol City decision on AFC Wimbledon loan star

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January could offer a return to Bristol City for one player - but it’s unlikely to happen

Ryley Towler is to remain at AFC Wimbledon for the remainder of the season, with Bristol City unlikely to use their recall option. Towler joined the League Two outfit on Deadline Day in the summer transfer window and has adapted well to life in the fourth tier.

He has played 19 games so far for the West London club, and has been in every match-day squad since joining. Towler has recorded five clean sheets across three competitions and has been nurtured by Bristol Rovers hero Lee Brown.

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Towler’s performances have been kept under close watch by those at City, who are happy with the progress he’s made at Plough Lane. He has been played as a centre-back, which is an area that the Robins have been short on over the course of the season.

Kal Naismith is only returning now after a two-month lay-off and Tomas Kalas is still sidelined, having been dealt a setback in his recovery. The thinning lack of options at centre-back has made for a loose suggestion of recalling Towler to provide cover for the first-team.

“No, he is a player that will benefit greatly from having a full season with them,” said Pearson when asked if he had considered utilising the recall option on the loan when the window opens in January.

“If you look at how we look at the loan situation, we don’t apply all the same factors to every player.”

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Technical director Brian Tinnion this week admitted to BristolLive that Towler would only return if it was to play in the team, as recalling him to play in the Under-21’s wouldn’t be beneficial to him or the latest crop coming through.

For Towler’s long-term development, a season under his belt at a team that hold promotion ambitions, remaining away from City, could be of benefit to his career at Ashton Gate. He has impressed loan manager Johnnie Jackson, who expected to keep hold of him until the end of the season.

Pearson added: “You have to look at each player on their own merit and I think Ryley needs to stay there and continue his good form. He’s had a good season so far.”

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