Bristol Rovers transfers Q&A: Aaron Collins latest, Liverpool relationship and kit news

Key Bristol Rovers questions answered as the 2023/24 season draws closer
Bristol Rovers have a few things to sort out this summer. Image: Getty Images)Bristol Rovers have a few things to sort out this summer. Image: Getty Images)
Bristol Rovers have a few things to sort out this summer. Image: Getty Images)

Bristol Rovers pre-season preparations continue with the squad and staff out in the Algarve in Portugal.

The Gas have a glamour friendly against Braga this Saturday, before facing Swansea City away and then Chesterfield at home, before their curtain raiser against Portsmouth on Saturday, August 5.

It’s just over two weeks until the season kicks off, but there’s some burning questions to be answered. We here at Bristol World have got you covered, by answering some key questions.

What’s the latest with Aaron Collins?

Our understanding is that Stoke City are one Championship club interested in signing Collins. It’s initial interest at the moment and no bid has yet been lodged, but he’s on their radar. At the moment, no departure is imminent for the 16-goal hero, and that’s good news, as there is a hope he can replicate his form next season.

There was interest in him in January, but who wouldn’t have been given his form? Bristol Rovers will stand firm on their valuation, and any sale would likely be reinvested back into the team. As of yet though, he’s a Rovers player, and he admitted himself back in May, that he was looking forward for the upcoming campaign. He was made aware of the clubs ambitions, and told they would be ambitious in the transfer market, and so far you have to say they’ve lived up to their promise.

When can we expect loan signings?

As we’ve alluded to in a previous article, there’s yet to be any loan signings at Bristol Rovers, which would be a surprise given the clubs reliance on that market in recent years. Joey Barton has relied on it heavily, and you’d say last year the best player outside of Collins was probably Lewis Gibson, who made an impact whilst Lamare Bogarde, and Josh Coburn also did well.

As we’re only in the middle of July, we shouldn’t expect too much loan business, as younger or fringe players tend to become available in the dying embers of the transfer window. Fortunately Rovers have a good relationship with most Premier League clubs, and in March, CEO Tom Gorringe revealed in an interview that Liverpool believe Rovers have a good reputation for developing young players, and that could put them at the top of the queue for when the Reds are considering loaning out players.

Despite not winning many games, Jarell Quansah had a positive first spell away from Anfield, and went on to play at the FIFA U20 World Cup after signing a new deal, meanwhile Middlesbrough have also tied down Josh Coburn to a new long-term contract. All the clubs who have dealt with Barton so far, may feel inclined to send their best young players to the West Country for some valuable first-team experience.

Why aren’t there many transfer rumours?

Bristol Rovers are a club that like to keep things to themselves, and you only have to look at their deadline day business in January. It wasn’t until both Callum MacDonald and Lamare Bogarde were announced that people were aware that there had even been any interest. You’ll have some snippets that come out, such as Connor Ripley and Tom Sang apparently being targets for the Gas before their moves to Port Vale, or Alfie May and Will Boyle being of interest before they signed with Charlton and Wrexham, but ultimately the club wants to keep things close to their chest.

In some cases, transfer speculation will come out, and that’s led mainly by those who know the players, such as their agents and friends. It can sometimes work to try and get a deal concluded quicker, but it can also have an adverse effect, and they can sometimes see a deal collapse, or a club pay over the odds.

When can we expect new kits?

Last season Bristol Rovers didn’t reveal their new first-team kit until until July 21, which was after their final pre-season friendly. The team are already wearing their new training wear, but in their matches against Melksham Town, Brentford B and Eastleigh, they’ve worn strips without names from the previous season.

Pete Weymouth, the Retail & Ticket Manager said in a tweet there was ‘nothing planned’ in regards to new kit photos on Sunday, but said it would be the club that communicate that.

Earlier this month, David Bright the Head of Sales at the club, tweeted: “Order is placed in the same way every season, it’s a busy time for producing these items.

“Look around, we aren’t the only ones, Champ and Prem clubs in same situation. Would we like to have it earlier, yes.  But we have to work on the timelines we are given.”