Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Striking For Gold

As of 18.00 on Tuesday evening, Rovers have yet to make any of the two striker signings that Mark McGhee wanted in place before the away trip to Exeter City on Saturday. Plenty of names have been linked with a move to the MemStad but nothing official has been revealed. Some of the speculation has been a little far-fetched but with our targets needing to be 'proven' and 'different' to what we already have in the squad, recognised players are likely.

Let's get the one of the biggest and most controversial rumours out of the way first.

Brett Pitman
Brett Pitman of Bristol City has been linked with making a short-term loan move to Rovers to solve our goalscoring problems. Realistic? Well in normal circumstances the answer would be no - he's a Championship striker who had many suitors over the summer, including Burnley. However there are a number of perfectly plausible reasons as to why he would sign on loan for us. He lives locally and may see a temporary move to the blue side of Bristol as the ideal way to kickstart his season, promoting his availability to Championship clubs in the process. The deal would not only benefit Rovers and Pitman, it would also benefit City as they can get match action for a player that would otherwise be sat in their reserve team. Another thing in favour for City is that they may be able to get us to pay a percentage of Pitman's weekly wages, which frees up budget should they wish to sign a player on loan themselves.

I think it's unlikely unfortunately. I'm not against us signing a player from the Robins on loan, particularly one of BP's undoubted ability, but I just feel as though McGhee will want players who we actually have a chance of keeping for the whole season. That would be extremely unlikely in this case. Besides, I'm not sure BP himself would consider the move. If he was to join us and play terribly then he'd get a load of stick from Gasheads... if he was to join us and score goals then he'd get a load of stick from disgruntled sheeds upon his return. It's a lose-lose situation for him.

Jeffrey Schlupp
Another player linked is Leicester City's Jeffrey Schlupp. The 19 year old forward enjoyed a prolific loan spell with Brentford in 2011 and since then has made an impact with the Foxes at first team level. Why would a fringe player like Jeffrey who has scored goals at League One level wish to join a League Two team? Tom Parkes, Cian Bolger and Oliver Norburn may prove to be three reasons. They've clearly enjoyed their time with the club and have subsequently gone on to sign permanently or on loan for a third time. They may be able to convince him that a spell with the club would propel him in to a regular football league goalscorer and in the meantime earn himself cult-hero status with Gasheads. Our little link-up with Leicester has seen us benefit greatly in recent seasons and it may help us out here if Nigel Pearson is willing to sanction a move.

I think this one may have legs but I can also see why Schlupp would spurn the opportunity to join us. He's close to being given more game-time at the King Power stadium and may see a spell away as a hinderance to his short-term prospects at Championship level. I hope that we are in for him though because he's precisely the sort of player we need to partner David Clarkson - he's a finisher and possesses terrifying pace too.

Jon Obika
How about Jon Obika of Tottenham Hotspur? He's a 22 year old who has enjoyed several football league loan spells in recent years, scoring goals regularly in League One. His most productive move was to Yeovil Town and the Glovers were so impressed they signed him again... and again! He's not considered a clinical finisher but he has pace and trickery, two things we desperately lack up front. If he was to feel confident here then I could genuinely see him scoring plenty of goals at this level.

I could see this deal happening, should indeed we have made a move for him. He's nowhere near the first team under Andre Villas-Boas and has yet to make enough of an impact to earn a move to the Championship. I think he'd relish a year with the Gas to build up a reputation. I think it's a possibility.

They are the three main names that rumours have us going in for and I could safely say I'd be happy to see any of them pull on the quarters. They all have goals in them and would compliment our current strikers perfectly. It's a case of wait and see now though. With three days left before the weekend we hope to see movement in the next 48 hours or so. The question is... who will be a Bristol Rovers player by the time we face Exeter?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your thoughts...