Former Bristol Rovers striker signs for new club as he is reunited with old manager

Bristol Rovers will come up against their former striker and manager in April, after another deadline day move.

Former Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has reunited with ex-Gas striker Matty Taylor at Port Vale.

The Gas striker was involved in a deadline day move once more, as he swapped Oxford United for the Valiants, on a loan deal until the end of the season. Taylor is partial to a move on the final day on the window, and made the controversial move across the city to rivals Bristol City six years ago to the day.

Taylor has struggled for form this season with six goals in 29 matches, with a run of five games without a goal. In recent weeks, he was substituted at half-time in the defeat to Burton, and limited to substitute appearances against Fleetwood, Ipswich and Wycombe Wanderers.

One-time Bristol Rovers loanee Tyler Smith, who scored three goals in 20 matches for the Gas, helped make the move happen as he joined the U’s on loan from Hull City. Oxford also signed attacking midfielder Ateef Konate from Nottingham Forest, who was linked with a move to Bristol City.

"I have worked with Matty before and know the quality he brings,” said Clarke to Port Vale’s official club website. He’ll give us another dynamic in our forward line.

“We are delighted to get this one over the line; we have been working really hard on this one late into deadline day and I’d like to thank Colin Garlick and Jess Frost in our Football Administration team for their work on the deal this evening.”

Taylor’s move to Vale Park sees him reunite not only with Darrell Clarke, but with Ellis Harrison. Harrison has scored eight goals for the Staffordshire side in the current campaign, and played alongside Taylor during two back-to-back promotion seasons.

Port Vale have already played at the Mem, losing 1-0 in December, and so Taylor will hope to turn out for Vale against Rovers in their match scheduled towards the end of April. He played against Rovers for Oxford in August, but failed to make an impact with the Gas also winning 1-0 against the U’s.