Matt Taylor drops major Bristol Rovers summer transfer hint on former Birmingham City & Luton Town star

Isaac VassellIsaac Vassell
Isaac Vassell | Getty Images
The 30-year-old is currently training part-time with Rovers, whilst also playing for non-league side Bath City.

Bristol rovers boss Matt Taylor has hinted that former Championship striker Isaac Vassell could well sign for the Gas this summer.

The experienced centre-forward has been training with Rovers for the past two months. However, he recently signed for neighbours non-league Bath City until the end of the season. "We just want to see him in a full game," said Taylor. "We've seen enough now to say that there is certainly something there, we just want him to go Bath and impress and do well for himself and hopefully for whatever is next in their promotion push."

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Vassell has had a long career playing for various clubs across the EFL. Most notably, Luton Town, Birmingham City and Cardiff City. "He actually came training at Exeter when I was manager there a couple of years ago," said Taylor. "That was curtailed by injury, he has had a terrible time of it with injuries in the last four years, but we know what he did previous to that and know what he is capable of.

"He's a free agent, he's local, there was enough of a connection and relationship there for him to come in and train for the last 8 weeks and we built him and build him. Unfortunately, with no development squad or reserve games coming up, we were not able to give him any game time to see him in a proper game of football.

"Its great you can run around in training and the small-sided games in possession, but we rarely do 11v11 as we haven’t got the bodies and we haven’t got the opportunity of a free game week. It fitted everyone in terms of a signing for Bath and hopefully it get him some proper game time. He came on, on Tuesday night, Jamie McAllister was at the game, but having not played for four years it's going to be 10 minutes, 15 minutes and we have got to build and build and then we can start to assess it to see if there's any opportunity with ourselves for the future."

The 30-year-old, who has 30 senior goals to his name, will certainly be a great addition to the Bath side, who are in the play-off places in the National League South. "We made phone calls to all the non-league clubs in the area and whoever could obtain him. It was a discussion between Vassell, his agent and the manager. Bath works because it's local – they seem to be going well in their league, everyone wants centre-forwards so I don’t know why any manager would not want to take him because it's almost a free-hit."

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With the departure of Aaron Collins to Bolton Wanderers, a void for goals has been left in the Rovers attacking ranks. Chris Martin has been sensational since his arrival in September, and the Pirates could quite possibly dip into the free-agent market again, when the squad has a major reshuffle this summer. "In terms of his game time it's going to be an impact at the moment until he builds and builds towards bigger minutes. That might not be this season, that might be the next pre-season, but he just needs a little bit of time and needs to be assessed in an 11v11 format. They play midweek as well and train on a Thursday night, so his training with us will be a little bit less."

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