2 free-agent strikers Bristol City should consider after Benik Afobe’s injury
The 26-year-old, who made his move to Ashton Gate on loan from Stoke City earlier in the summer, has been one of the key driving forces behind Bristol City’s blistering start to the season and his long-term spell on the sidelines could deal a serious blow to the Robins’ promotion hopes.
The Robins currently sit 4th in the Championship standings with 4 victories and 2 draws from their first seven league games. Having scored 13 goals thus far, they are currently the joint top-scorers in the division alongside Preston North End but Lee Johnson might now be forced to reconsider his options up top following a potential season-ending injury to Afobe.
Afobe wasn’t in the matchday squad for Bristol’s 2-1 victory over Stoke City last week, as Andreas Weimann partnered Famara Diedhiou in front of goal with Kasey Palmer filling in as a No.10 behind the two strikers.
Indeed, the injury to Benik Afobe is a big blow to Bristol City after such a promising start to the campaign and the Robins would need to bring in a replacement for him sooner rather than later to ensure that they do not run out of options in front of goal later on in the campaign.
Of Course, Weimann and Diedhiou are capable of doing the job but with Matty Taylor and Jamie Paterson on loan at Oxford United and Derby County respectively, Johnson might struggle to manage the workload of his strikers.
With the transfer window now closed, bringing in replacement in January sounds like a good idea but the Robins might also look to scour the pool of free-agents to fill the void left by the injury to Afobe.
With that in mind, here are two free-agent strikers they should look to sign as soon as possible:-
1. Wilfried Bony
It is sad to see a striker who once scored 16 goals for Swansea City in the Premier League in the 2013-14 season struggling to find a club. Well, the Ivorian might be just 30 but his stocks have declined significantly over the past few years due to his struggles with injuries and lack of regular minutes.
Once amongst the most feared strikers in English football, Bony might not be the same player nowadays but he is still a natural finisher with both feet and head and it is easy to see why and how Bristol City could benefit from his presence.
As long as he manages to prove his fitness on the training ground and a deal makes sense financially, the Robins should not hesitate to snap him up.
2. Gary Hooper
The former Celtic stalwart is currently without a club following his release from Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the previous campaign.
Much like Bony, Hooper’s career has been on the decline over the past few years due to recurrent injuries and while he doesn’t look like the man who used to run riot at Parkhead in his youthful days, the 31-year-old could still be a handsome back-up option for the Robins.
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Hooper’s smart hold up play, natural skillset as a striker and his opportunistic nature in front of goal might come in handy for Lee Johnson later in the season when the race for promotion goes down to the wire.