‘We need to move on’ - Bristol City favourites verdict on out-of-contract midfielder

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Han-Noah Massengo was not named in Bristol City’s latest 18-man match-day squad - and was not injured

Former Bristol City defender Chris Honor believes that Han-Noah Massengo’s long-term future is away from Ashton Gate.

Honor started his career with the Robins and played for them through the 1980s. He had a few loan spells at the likes of Torquay United, Hereford and Swansea City.

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The 54-year-old was at St Andrew’s on Saturday to watch City’s 3-0 loss to Birmingham City which meant a response was demanded from Nigel Pearson. Pearson didn’t name the 21-year-old in his match-day squad at all with Under-21’s midfielder Dylan Kadji preferred that evening.

Before the match, Pearson was asked his reasoning behind the decision and it was a case of the 59-year-old opting for Kadji over him. Massengo was not carrying a knock and instead was just not included in the 18-man match-day squad against Preston.

Asked on BBC Radio Bristol about the Frenchman’s absence, he said: “I’m not surprised. I wasn’t impressed by Massengo’s performance on Saturday at all. I was disappointed there was an occasion where he was stood on the edge of the Birmingham box and the ball went over his head.

“He ended up playing it back to his own keeper. He just goes too sideways and too backwards for me.”

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Massengo has been in-and-out of the team this season with sporadic first-team appearances. He has had eight starts with six of those coming in the Championship and the other two in the Carabao Cup. There have been four times in which Massengo has entered the pitch as a substitute, as well as two times where he has failed to make an appearance despite being an option.

Out of the matches he has started this season, four of them he has completed. He has played a total of 644 minutes this season.

Towards the end of last season, first-team boss Pearson did admit that the former Monaco midfielder’s lack of commitment over a new contract had influenced his decision on including him in the starting line-up. An offer has remained on the table to Massengo’s representatives for the last year but talks remain at a stalemate.

Dylan Kadji’s emergence from the academy is a hint the ex-City defender believes about how Pearson views Massengo’s long-term future. The 19-year-old signed professional terms last November and has made a handful of senior appearances.

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“He’s got issues with not signing a new contract,” added Honor. He needs to get his future resolved and it’s obviously not at Ashton Gate. “He’s a lovely kid and he’s done great since he’s been here, we really need to move on without him.

“Nigel Pearson has accepted that and I think he is going to give Kadji (Dylan) his chance in front of Massengo now. He’s ready to step up to the park but I wasn’t surprised he was left out of the squad.”

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