Why Andraz Sporar could be a real coup for Bristol City
Bristol Live understands that the Robins are in the January market for a couple of additions to bolster their striking ranks and Sporar has emerged as a target after being scouted extensively by the club’s recruitment team.
Bristol City, though, will need to beat off stiff competition from reigning Scottish champions Celtic and Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv in their pursuit of the 25-year-old striker, who is rated at £6million by Slovan Bratislava. (h/t Bristol Live)
With Arsenal recalling Eddie Nketiah from his loan spell at Leeds United, the England U-21 international continues to be the club’s No.1 target, while Liverpool academy prospect Rhian Brewster and forgotten Crystal Palace star Connor Wickham have also been linked with moves to Ashton Gate in January. (h/t Bristol Live)
Sporar, who plundered 50 goals in 112 appearances for Olimpija Ljubljana in his homeland, struggled to make an impact at Basel in the Swiss top-flight but he has enjoyed a strong resurgence at Slovan Bratislava since his move to the Slovakian giants back in January 2018.
Having racked up 34 goals in 36 appearances for Bratislava across all competitions last term, Sporar has already struck 20 goals in 26 outings across various league, cup and European competitions so far this season.
Despite Bratislava finishing 3rd behind Wolves and Braga in Group K and bowing out of the UEFA Europa League in the group stages, the Slovenian international impressed with 5 goals and 2 assists in 6 games, including a goal in a 2-1 defeat against Wolves on Matchday 3.
Meanwhile, Bristol City slipped down to 11th in the standings with yet another disappointing 4-0 defeat against Brentford on New Year’s Day.
The Robins had been flying high up the table but a poor run of results which has seen them win only one out of their last six league games has brought them crashing out down to the earth.
Fortunately, though, the Robins are still only a couple of points adrift of the playoff spots, and with plenty of games still left to be played, Lee Johnson has enough time left to arrest the slide and get the club’s campaign back on track in the coming months.
To put things into perspective, Bristol City are currently short of striking options since the cruciate ligament injury to Stoke City loanee Benik Afobe earlier in the season and an in-form striker like Andraz Sporar could be a handsome addition to the ranks at Ashton Gate.
Famara Diedhiou and Andreas Weimann have emerged as Johnson’s preferred pairing up top since Afobe’s injury, and while the duo has scored 15 goals together so far, the Robins don’t really have much depth beyond their first-choice strike partnership.
Sporar’s incredible strike rate in the Slovakian top-flight hardly guarantees success in the EFL Championship but the 25-year-old is certainly worth a punt for Bristol City in January given that he has proven his worth against some top-quality opposition in the Europa League this term.
Bratislava’s asking price of £6million could be a stumbling block but the Robins showed in the summer that they aren’t afraid to fork out big amounts of cash, with Han-Noah Massengo and Tomas Kalas coming through the door at Ashton Gate.
Profiled by Bristol Live as a technically-gifted striker with good physical attributes and strong aerial prowess, Sporar excels with his link-up play, ability to get into dangerous areas inside the box and proficiency in scoring goals with both feet.
That coupled with his excellent record in the Europa League this term means that Sporar could well be the man to add another dimension to Bristol City’s attack while also providing some valuable cover for the likes of Diedhiou and Weimann.
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Suffice to say, Andraz Sporar is certainly a risk worth taking for the Robins as they look to push on for a top-six finish in the Championship.