Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Bristol City Lining Up A Move For Out-Of-Favour Southampton Fullback: The Ideal Replacement For Bryan?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Bristol City fullback, Joe Bryan is in the transfer market after impressing thoroughly in the EFL Championship last season. Plenty of English outfits are after the 24-year-old and the Robins might have to sell him now instead of losing him for nothing next summer. Lee Johnson has already lined up a replacement in the form of Southampton’s Sam McQueen, who is finding life hard at the St Mary’s.

McQueen made just 7 appearances in the Premier League last term and only 1 as a starter. He has been demoted to the U23 side where he has featured in 8 games, scoring 6 times. The 23-year-old is quite clearly well below the pecking order behind the likes of Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett.

McQueen is a product of the Southampton academy, racking up 16 goals in 63 appearances for the U23 squad. A loyal fan of his boyhood club, McQueen has fallen well below expectations in his career as a senior team footballer.

He is a potent threat with a skilled left foot who started off his playing career on the more offensive side on the pitch. He was mostly deployed as a winger or an attacking midfielder while playing for Southend United. He has made the transition to the left-back position and has settled into the position as per modern fullback standards.

He can stretch the floor when needed while at the same time hold down the fort at the back as well. The 1-time England U21 international spent a short loan spell with the League One outfit, Southend United. He scored his first league goal in the Essex derby against Colchester United on his 21st birthday.

McQueen is at the stage of his career where all the potential is piling up under his rusty boots. He needs to find an escape from the Saints to a club where he will be given the space and opportunity to finally prove his worth.

From Bristol City’s point of view, if Bryan does end up leaving Ashton Gate, McQueen might just be the uncontested starter. The Robins will have only a 19-year-old Lloyd Kelly as backup unless they sign another left-back in the coming days.

Bristol started out in the 2017/18 campaign in a mixed fashion, making a strong run for the playoff spots. However, it all fell apart late into the season as they ended up finishing in the 11th spot.

Read More: Southampton Set To A Give A Lifeline To This 31 Y/O English Outcast: Master Stroke Or Mistake?

Maybe McQueen will be able to bring in the similar kind of influence that Bryan had with the side to help the team get back into the promotion race in case the latter leaves for any of his suitors.

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