Penning down thoughts on the Kal Naismith situation
This summer’s transfer window is in its infancy and we have already been dealt a big blow in Kal Naismith departing for pastures new with Bristol City.
The Scotsman emerged as a big winner during our awards night earlier in the month, with his consistently classy performances seeing him catch the eye of the entire division.
Regardless of the feelings we have about his departure, and the nature of it, if our recent transfer windows are anything to go by, we can have full faith in the recruitment team, and as pointed out by various people on social media, at least we have a long way to go this summer.
Still possessing excellent defensive options in the likes of Sonny Bradley, Reece Burke, Tom Lockyer, Gabe Osho and Peter Kioso, it will be interesting to see if Naismith’s departure will force Nathan Jones back into the defensive market.
Admittedly, Naismith’s ball-carrying abilities and subsequent passing range will be difficult to replace within the sustainable way the club operates but it could represent an opportunity for the club to assess more youthful options.
Naismith proved to display good levels of adaptability and versatility upon arrival from Wigan Athletic, with the 30-year-old filling in at left-back and in holding midfield expertly when required to.
Naismith is a brilliant addition at Bristol City, with Nigel Pearson adding one of the best free agents that the Championship has offered thus far in 2022.
A transfer that is likely to spice the two fixtures up next season against the Robins, it is certainly a move that improves the Ashton Gate outfit considerably.
Whilst this has to be classed as an instant blow for us, our ability to improve our playing squad during a transfer window, regardless of external factors, means that we can be confident that we will move on and adapt swiftly.
We are a side that thrives as a collective unit, and whilst individual brilliance has certainly played its part in stages, unity serves as one of our greatest and most important strengths.
As previously mentioned, it is not clear whether Jones will need to dip into the market to find a Naismith replacement, however, if a younger, progressive left-footed central defender is desired, there are a few options from an immediate scan.
Jake Clarke-Salter, who is likely to continue attracting plenty of transfer interest is perhaps someone on the more ambitious side of the scales, whilst Luton-born Romoney Crichlow is another potential consideration.
Bolton Wanderers’ George Johnston represents an option from lower down in the pyramid, with the Trotters’ defender a composed and confident figure in possession.