Brett Pitman given permission to leave Bristol Rovers after striker left left out of squad

The signing of Ryan Loft has made Brett Pitman out-of-favour at Bristol Rovers. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)The signing of Ryan Loft has made Brett Pitman out-of-favour at Bristol Rovers. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The signing of Ryan Loft has made Brett Pitman out-of-favour at Bristol Rovers. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) | Getty Images
One of Rovers’ summer signings is set for a departure after being allowed to leave

Brett Pitman is exploring his options after Joey Barton gave permission for him to leave Bristol Rovers.

The 33-year-old was not included in the Gas’ match day squad against Walsall which has paved the way for a move to another club.

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Time is of the essence though with the January transfer window set to shut on Monday and Rovers themselves are hoping to bring in to at least two players with a left-back and midfielder preferred.

Getting Pitman off of the books either in the form of a loan or free transfer would free up resources for a new signing as well as a registration spot when submitting squad lists to the Football League.

“We’re gonna let Bret explore the market,” revealed Barton who is keen to keep a squad of players that can make an impact when called upon rather than any fringe players.

“We had a chat with him during the week. I think the way we wanna be and what we want to do, it hasn’t quite worked out for him. It’s going to be difficult for opportunities for him now based on the players we’ve got at our disposal.

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“I think you’ve had a career like Bret has had, a great career, you want to go out playing, you don’t want to be the 19th man and not playing on a match day. It’s different if you’re 20 and you’re developing but not when you’re 33. I wanted to give him that opportunity.

“I spoke to him after the Scunthorpe game to explore if there are opportunities out there and he’s doing that now with his agent.”

Pitman signed for Rovers on a free transfer from Swindon Town in the summer, despite having previous history with Bristol City.

He has made 16 appearances this season in League Two, scoring four goals but half of those outings have been from the substitutes bench.

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His last league start came back in November against Forest Green Rovers with both Antony Evans and Sam Nicholson sometimes deployed as makeshift strikers when there hasn’t been a recognised forward.

Aaron Collins has hit a run of good form, scoring five goals in his last seven league matches, which has made him the preferred option to lead the line.

The signing of Ryan Loft from Scunthorpe United as well as the return to action of both Harvey Saunders and Leon Clarke have put Pitman lower down the pecking order.

Full-back Junior Brown is in the same position as Pitman with the defender and his representatives allowed to speak to any potential suitors.

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The 33-year-old hasn’t played since October and has been in the treatment room with an injury but as he nears a return to the pitch, Rovers are not standing in his way of finding a new playing opportunity.

The pair would follow in the foot steps of the likes of Mark Hughes, Zain Walker and Zain Westbrooke, who were first-team players have been allowed to leave both on loan and permanently.

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