Why Bristol City have struck gold with a new deal for Joe Morrell
As confirmed via Bristol City’s official website, Bristol City have secured the future of academy prospect Joe Morrell, who has put pen to paper on fresh terms at Ashton Gate until the summer of 2022.
The 22-year-old Welshman has become the latest academy graduate to pledge his future to the club, with the Robins holding the option to extend his stay by a further 12 months beyond the end of the 2021-22 season (Bristol City Official Website).
Born in Ipswich, Morrell rose through the youth system at Bristol City and signed his first professional contract with the Robins in December 2012.
The central midfielder was handed his professional debut in a 2-1 Football League Trophy defeat against Wycombe Wanderers in the 2013-14 campaign.
He continued his development largely with the reserves and was loaned out to Sutton United and Margate in the National League and National League South earlier in his career.
Having impressed during his temporary stints in non-league football, the Robins sent him out on loan to League Two outfit Cheltenham Town for the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign, where he scored thrice in 39 appearances across all competitions.
Morrell’s impressive performances in the fourth-tier helped him break into the first-team plans for the 2018-19 season but stiff competition for places in the middle of the park afforded the Welsh starlet a solitary appearance in the Championship.
The 22-year-old, who was loaned out to Lincoln City in the League One in the summer, is currently serving his fourth loan spell away from Ashton Gate.
A new long-term deal certainly comes as a vote of confidence in the player’s abilities while also making it clear that he does, indeed, have a future at the club.
Joe Morrell has been ever-present in the heart of the midfield for the Imps in the League One this term, starting 14 out of the club’s 17 league fixtures so far.
As per whoscored, the 22-year-old has averaged 43.9 passes per game at an accuracy rate of 80%, including 3.4 successful long balls, 1.5 key passes, 2.3 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game.
Those numbers are really impressive for any defensive midfielder and they lie testament to how well he has coped with the transition, having previously impressed on his loan spell at Cheltenham Town.
Morrell, who was instrumental in Wales’ 2-0 victory over Hungary, hasn’t found a direct route to the first-team at Bristol City ever since his debut in the 2013-14 season.
However, things could take a turn in the positive direction if he continues to put in the hard yards on his loan spell.
Despite finding playtime at his boyhood club hard to come by, the 22-year-old has taken significant strides towards fulfilling his potential in recent years.
Alongside the likes of Josh Brownhill, Niclas Eliasson, Han-Noah Massengo, Ádám Nagy, Kasey Palmer and Sammie Szmodics, Joe Morrell is an impressive group of up and coming midfielders at Ashton Gate.
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All in all, Bristol City can now look forward to enjoying the services of Joe Morrell for the foreseeable future.