Why Bristol City dodged a bullet by not signing Bryan Mbuemo
According to Bristol Live, Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has revealed that French U-21 winger Bryan Mbuemo was on the club’s radar in the summer transfer window prior to his move to Championship rivals Brentford.
The 20-year-old rose to prominence with Ligue 2 outfit Troyes last season and earned rave reviews for his consistently impressive displays in the French second-tier.
Mbuemo, who bagged 11 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions in the previous campaign, was linked with a host of elite clubs in the summer, including ones in the Premier League and German Bundesliga, but it was Brentford who won the race for the talented winger.
The youngster’s burgeoning reputation as one of the brightest emerging prospects in France prompted the Bees to fork out a fee of £7 million for his services and Mbuemo came through the door at Griffin Park with the tag of a marquee signing.
To that end, the Brentford fans would have expected him to make a big impact in the Championship and establish himself as one of the standout performers at the club but they are likely to be disappointed with what they have seen thus far.
Despite all his talent and potential, Mbuemo hasn’t really lived up to his price tag at Griffin Park, with the winger managing to score and assist one apiece in 7 league outings for the Bees. The French starlet really came to life in Brentford’s 3-0 victory over Derby County but, overall, he just hasn’t been consistent enough.
Besides his obvious struggles with holding on to the ball, Mbuemo’s shooting has been pretty aweful, to say the least. As per whoscored, the Frenchman has only managed to keep 3 out of his attempted 11 shots on target, numbers which are not likely to please manager Thomas Frank.
Moreover, Mbuemo has been dispossessed a total of 10 times in the Championship this season, while also registering 11 unsuccessful touches.
His pass success rate of 78 looks pretty okay for an attacking winger, however, one cannot help but feel that his meagre return of 1.1 key passes per game is not enough to compensate for such ineptitude in possession and careless shooting.
Suffice to say, Mbuemo has to improve significantly if he is to make a big impact at Griffin Park and, if the first nine games are anything to go by, Bristol City have no reason to rue missing out on the 20-year-old Frenchman.
As a matter of fact, they should be pretty happy with their summer business, which included a triple raid on Chelsea for Kasey Palmer, Jay Dasilva and Tomas Kalas, while a French wonderkid by the name of Han-Noah Massengo also arrived for a hefty fee from Monaco.
Kalas and Massengo have pretty much been amongst the mainstays in their respective positions, while other new recruits like Tommy Rowe and Daniel Bentley have also chipped in with some fine displays early in the season.
The Robins currently sit 8th in the standings after a solid start to the campaign, with Lee Jonhson’s side winning four and drawing four out of their first nine league fixtures.
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It might be too early to make a call but the securing a top-six finish should not be beyond the reach of the Robins of they keep up their consistency levels, having narrowly missed out on a playoff berth the last term.
All in all, things are currently looking quite bright for Bristol City and it is easy to say that missing out on Bryan Mbuemo hasn’t come back to bite them, at least, till now.