Goater: Wells would be a big hit in Bristol

  • Full backing: Shaun Goater, pictured in his playing days at Bristol City, believes compatriot Nahki Wells would be a perfect fit at his former club

    Full backing: Shaun Goater, pictured in his playing days at Bristol City, believes compatriot Nahki Wells would be a perfect fit at his former club

Shaun Goater has no doubt Bristol City would be a good fit for Nahki Wells, if the Sky Bet Championship club manage to sign the Queens Park Rangers loanee before next Friday’s transfer deadline.

Goater’s interest in the transfer gossip surrounding Wells and Bristol City was piqued upon hearing that his former club were interested in taking the Burnley player to Ashton Gate.

Goater played there for two seasons between 1996 and 1998 before leaving the club for Manchester City during the then March transfer window. A few weeks later Bristol City were promoted to the Championship while Manchester City went down to League One.

However, Goater has no regrets about the move to Bristol City or the one to Manchester City, both helping to advance his career after leaving Rotherham.

Manchester City bounced back with two straight promotions as Goater’s goals helped lift them into the Premier League, helping the striker become a household name, worshipped by the Manchester City fans.

The same, he said, would happen if Wells went to Bristol and helped them achieve a long time goal of getting into the Premier League. The club, he says, has massive potential and loads of ambition.

“In terms of players coming to the club, it’s almost the best club for a Bermudian player to be at, from the people who are so welcoming, to the style of football,” said Goater, speaking from his home in Manchester. “They have always tried to play football the right way.

“The players I played with are players they still hold in high esteem because we had two really good years. The club has always aspired to get into the Premier League and I have always wanted that for the club.

“I think that is the missing key, somebody who can get them 20-plus goals. Nahki is now experienced in the Championship and this is what he can deliver. He’ll be such a perfect fit and would really enjoy it there. I can’t speak highly enough it being a perfect match.”

Goater joined Bristol City for £175,000 in 1996 from Rotherham and scored 45 goals in 81 appearances for the team before leaving on transfer deadline day in a £400,000 deal that took him to Manchester City for the final few games of the season.

Goater then had spells with Reading and Southend before retiring, but he knows the tough decisions footballers have to make.

In Wells’s case, he is 29 so this could be the final move of his career, whether Queens Park Rangers have the funds to buy him or he moves to another club in the coming days. Nottingham Forest, fourth in the Championship, are another club reported to have made an approach for Wells.

Burnley look certain to try to offload him before the deadline as Wells will be out of contract in the summer.

“If Nahki went there [to Bristol City] I would imagine it would be a three-year contract, but it’s a great time,” Goater said. “They are ambitious and the only thing that would speed that up would be playing in the Premier League. They would consistently have full gates and extra revenue from TV.”

Goater said Bristol is also a good area to attract fans as there are no Premier League clubs in the area, with Ashton Gate also boating a capacity of 27,000.

“Whether it is a player going to the club at 21 or at 29 looking to play his last four or five seasons at a club, it’s a great time to go,” Goater added. “He could end his career there and be a legend, because whatever set of players takes them to the Premier League will be seen as legends.

“That’s what they’re missing. It is a big enough area to have the fanbase to regularly have over 25,000 fans week in, week out. I remember the chairman telling me when I was playing there about the million people within a 45-minute to hour radius of the club.

“There are no other clubs within that distance. “I think it could be an exciting time in the next three to five years.

“Bristol City got promoted the season I left. Man City had seven games left and got relegated. I went back there to celebrate with Bristol City after they got promoted, but didn’t feel a part of it because I didn’t play the last seven games with the team.

“At Man City we weren’t celebrating because we got relegated. Roll on a year, Manchester City got promoted and Bristol City got relegated. We had two straight promotions to get into the Premier League and it became the right decision in the end.”

He added: “I can see it being difficult for Nahki, he is doing well and the fans at QPR love him because he’s doing the business and he’s settled.

“What I do know as a footballing club he would really enjoy Bristol City.

“I left Rotherham to go there and was sold the first 45 minutes of walking around. The seagulls were flying around, the weather was good and the first thing I was thinking ‘this is like Bermuda’. I was sold, I was like ‘this is warmer than Rotherham’.”

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Published Jan 25, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 24, 2020 at 11:30 pm)

Goater: Wells would be a big hit in Bristol

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