As the summer transfer window shuts, Nigel Pearson seems to be content enough with his squad to make no further additions or subtractions.
The large summer overhaul began in May with 11 first team players not having their contracts renewed, trimming the squad dangerously slim.
In all, a quartet of new faces have come through the door at Ashton Gate. Pearson admitting that was his target for signings this season when he talked to RobinsTV at the beginning of pre season.
For many fans, it was a extremely underwhelming start to the transfer window, a duet of ex-Leicester City central midfielders were first to join the club.
Matty James signed as a free agent, most recently spending the 2020/21 season first at Barnsley and then Coventry City; playing a main role for both, teams, captaining the latter of a number of occasions.
James has had an impressive start to his City career, playing every minute of league football this season, becoming the clubs set piece taker, allowing the club to be a real threat from deal ball situations, an aspect of the game that has been missing since Marlon Pack and then Nicolas Eliasson’s departure from BS3.
His all round defensive willingness has been clearly effective in recent games. Playing his part in the newly implemented high press whilst his ability to get stuck into the gritty part of the game is excellent.
I was very wary of the signing of James, but what has impressed me most with James is what he dies with the ball after possession is won. 7 chances created with an assists to his name, the midfielder passes the ball forward 59% of the time, with the same amount of passes being inside the opposition showing how the team get on the ball and is able to control the game more than in the past few years.
Andy King was the next man in, with the childhood City fan expressing his love for the club in interviews. Statistically having a good start to the season, following up an assist on the opening day against Blackpool with his goal in the away loss to Middlesbrough.
Although he is a childhood red, fans have not warmed to him as much as Matty James, seemingly playing ahead of the like of Tyreeq Bakinson and Han-Noah Massengo and stunting their progress. This however may become a moot point as the former Welsh international has been impressive when on the pitch. His quality is clear to see when on the pitch finding space and supplying the like of Chris Martin with the ball.
He did look slightly lost at some points in the early matches, but with the change to two upfront, his quality will be able to shine through.
The new star boy at Ashton Gate is Rob Atkinson, the centre half arriving from Oxford United for a fee over £1,000,000. It has been an impressive start to life in the Championship for the 23 year old, with many fans giving a slightly lazy comparison to Adam Webster in the playstyle of the new recruit.
Atkinson looks strong and composed on the ball, 70% pass accuracy with over 40% of his passes coming inside the opposition half. His willingness to carry the ball is also exciting for fans. He may not have the willingness to go on the amount of runs as some of the defenders in the past, but his understanding of play and match awareness is already a high standard.
The final signing of the window has been George Tanner from Carslie United for £300,000. The young right back arrives from up north with an already gleaming reputation from his time in the fourth tier. The ex-Manchester United youngster had a seemingly great spell at after leaving Old Trafford.
It is no secret that the team has been begging for a natural right back of genuine Championship quality; with almost every goal conceded in the league this season coming from the right hand side of the pitch.
His defensive stats from the 2020/21 season will take to fans attentions as he won the fifth most tackles in League Two last season, but much more impressively was only dribbled past six times throughout the whole campaign with his tackle success being 86%, this only being beaten by Hull City’s Callum Eder in the whole Football League.
Carslie United fans seem to be saying that it is a really good signing, and from clips we have all seen of the lad, their word seems to be true. Looking quick on his feet and direct with the ball, we all hope he can replicate his form from last year despite the step up in level.