Lloyd Kelly scout report: Should Liverpool sign the youngster?
According to The Sun, Premier League sides Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United are interested in signing Bristol City defender Lloyd Kelly. The Merseysiders are believed to be leading the race to land the youngster’s signature.
The Bristol Post reports that Jurgen Klopp’s side is believed to have sent out scouts to watch the 20-year-old in action during the Robins’ 2-0 defeat away at Leeds United in November.
But who is the highly rated defender and why is he attracting interest from the top-flight clubs?
Who is Lloyd Kelly?
Born in Bristol on October 6th, 1998, the athletic 20-year-old defender came through the Bristol City youth academy. He made his debut in a 5-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle in the Carabao Cup in August 2017.
Kelly succeeded Joe Bryan in the Robins’ starting XI, following his summer switch to Fulham. He has been one of the breakthrough stars of this Championship campaign, having started 16 league games under manager Lee Johnson. He has scored once in City’s 4-2 loss away at West Brom in September and was heavily involved all three goals during their 3-2 win at Ipswich Town.
This highlights the youngster’s attacking intent, a prerequisite to play in Klopp’s gegenpressing system. Kelly also made several appearances for the England U20 side before earning his first cap with the U21s last month. The Bristol-born defender played over an hour in the 5-1 victory over Denmark in November.
He has also trained with the senior England squad and Bristol City will be in a strong negotiating position should they decide to sell Kelly. The Robins recently tied him down to a new contract which runs until 2021 – with the option of a further year.
What is his playing style like?
According to Whoscored, Kelly has averaged 1.4 tackles per game, recording 0.9 interceptions and making 2.4 clearances as well. The youngster is also a threat while surging forward with 1.2 successful dribbles per game, 0.3 key passes per game and 0.6 shots per game.
Kelly can dribble, cross and play long balls over the top to attacking players. He is also strong in the air, standing at 6ft 3in. He is a good and intelligent reader of the game and has impressive concentration levels for his age. His long legs allow him to challenge for the ball and make interceptions by throwing out his left foot while staying balanced.
He has already featured 18 times for the Robins this season which is more than the 11 appearances he made during the whole of the last term.
Should Liverpool sign him?
Having dropped out of Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up following Andrew Robertson’s emergence, Alberto Moreno will be out of contract in the summer. The Spaniard could leave as a free agent and the Anfield club are in dire need of a new left-back. The highly-rated Championship youngster fits the bill perfectly to succeed the ill-fitting Spaniard in providing cover for Robertson.
The versatile England U21 international can also play as a centre-back. Both Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have struggled to convince and seem far from being Virgil van Dijk’s long-term partners at the heart of Liverpool’s defence. Joe Gomez has been impressive this season but Kelly could provide cover at centre-back as well, having played there three times already this season.
Bristol City signing this veteran 33-year-old ace to solve midfield woes would get them closer to promotion
Bristol City Opinion: Robins would take a step closer to promotion with the acquisition of James Morrison
According to Bristol Post, Bristol City are interested in signing out-of-contract West Brom midfielder James Morrison in the summer transfer window, with manager Lee Johnson looking to add more depth and quality to his ranks in a bid to challenge for promotion next term.
The 33-year-old former Scottish international has been released by the Baggies and he is currently a free-agent, meaning that the Robins have the chance to snap him up for absolutely nothing this summer.
Bristol City, though, are not the only Championship outfit to have been credited with an interest in Morrison, with Bristol Post claiming that Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray is keen to reunite with his former Baggies player, whilst Reading are also very much in the race to sign the experienced midfielder.
Morrison made only 24 appearances for West Brom in all competitions this past season and featured in the playoffs, as the Baggies lost out to Midlands rivals Aston Villa in the race to secure promotion to the Premier League.
The 33-year-old was down the pecking order at the Hawthorns since the start of the 2017-18 campaign, with injuries playing a major part in his downfall, and his illustrious and distinguished spell with the Baggies have finally come to an end.
The 46-cap former Scottish international racked up a staggering 341 appearances for West Brom in all competitions since his 2007 move from Middlesbrough, registering 39 goals and 37 assists in the process.
Morrison was one of the key players for the Baggies back in their Premier League days and a player of his calibre is likely to have plenty of suitors this summer even at the age of 33.
Essentially a central midfielder by trade, Morrison has the versatility to switch between box-to-box, holding and attacking roles in the middle of the park. A tough-tackling and tenacious presence in the middle, the 33-year-old never shies away from a challenge or two and is always ready to stick his foot out for the sake of his team.
Adept at breaking up the play and winning possession back for his team, Morrison also excels with his chance creation in the final third.
To put things into perspective, Bristol City would bag a massive coup if they manage to fend off interest from Blackburn and Reading in the race to sign the hugely-experienced 33-year-old midfield enforcer this summer.
The acquisition of such a high-profile player like him on a free transfer would be an absolute steal for the Robins and, undoubtedly, a shrewd piece of business from Johnson.
Famara Diedhiou and Andreas Weimann were the main contributors with goals and assists up front, as Bristol City finished 8th in the Championship standings this past season and narrowly missed out on securing a spot in the playoffs.
The Robins will be expected to reignite their surge for promotion once again next term, and while a new centre-forward should be high on the manager’s wishlist, someone like James Morrison could help them improve massively in the midfield.
The likes of Marlon Pack, Josh Brownhill, Liam Walsh and Joe Morrell all played their role quite well in the middle of the park for the Robins last season but neither of them is hugely experienced at the Championship level, nor have they got the know-how to help the team challenge for promotion.
And that is exactly why someone like Morrison, with his bagful of Premier League and Championship experience, could be a marquee arrival at Ashton Gate.
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The 33-year-old would bring in that much-needed big-game temperament to the squad, which so often proves to be the difference between the teams in the race for promotion.
Plus, Morrison’s arrival would increase competition for places in the midfield and add a lot of depth and cover in a key area of the pitch for Johnson.
That said, Bristol City should go all out in their pursuit of the former West Brom stalwart this summer.
Bournemouth have struck gold with the £13m signing of this promising 20-year-old and here is why
Bournemouth opinion: Cherries have struck gold with Lloyd Kelly
Kelly was a target for both Arsenal and Liverpool but the 20-year-old ended up joining Bournemouth as he believed he had a greater chance of getting regular minutes at the south-coast club. (h/t Daily Mail)
The highly-rated youngster has become Bournemouth’s first major signing of the summer, as the Cherries continued their transfer policy of investing in homegrown talents.
Eddie Howe splashed £12million to sign Chris Mepham from Brentford back in the January window, while Dominic Solanke also made his move to the Vitality Stadium during the mid-season trading period for a fee of £19million.
The Cherries have shown a keen interest towards building a strong core of homegrown talents, with David Brooks, Lewis Cook, Jordon Ibe, Nathan Ake, Mepham and Solanke amongst those to have arrived at the Vitality Stadium in recent times.
Lloyd Kelly has become the latest homegrown addition to Bournemouth’s ranks and the Cherries have every reason to celebrate his arrival at the club, having managed to beat off competition from Premier League giants Arsenal and Liverpool in the race to sign the highly-rated left-back.
A product of Bristol City’s youth system, Kelly made his senior professional debut for the Robins in 2017 and enjoyed his first-team breakthrough in the Championship in the 2017-18 season.
He only played a bit-part role last season but he really came of age this term for Bristol City, establishing himself as a regular at left-back and earning rave reviews for his performances.
Kelly made a total of 32 appearances for the Robins in the Championship this past season and earned plenty of plaudits, as Lee Johnson’s side fell agonisingly short of a playoff spot.
However, his consistently impressive performances didn’t go unnoticed and the youngster has every reason to be ecstatic after securing a move to the Premier League with Bournemouth.
To put things into perspective, it is not difficult to see why the Cherries have, indeed, struck gold with the signing of Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City.
In fact, the player also made a sensible decision by snubbing moves to the top-six clubs to join Bournemouth, as it would offer him plenty of regular minutes in the Premier League to hone his skills and eventually take his game to the next level.
Bournemouth were also in need of bringing in reinforcements at left-back, following a long-term injury to first-choice Charlie Daniels back in April.
The veteran is likely to miss large chunks of the upcoming campaign, and although the Cherries had a much more established left-back in Diego Rico, the move to complete a deal for Kelly can be seen as a step in the right direction in relation to the club’s long-term plans.
Moreover, Rico made only 12 appearances this season in the Premier League and Howe ended up fielding Liverpool loanee Nathaniel Clyne at left-back towards the end of the campaign.
Centre-backs Steve Cook and Nathan Ake did reasonably well at the back this season, but Bournemouth, as a team, often left plenty to be desired in terms of defending. \
The Cherries conceded an unimpressive 70 goals in the Premier League this season, with Huddersfield Town and Fulham being the only other teams to have shipped more goals. Hence, the acquisition of a talented left-back like Lloyd Kelly definitely makes a lot of sense.
Also, Bournemouth signing Kelly, who can play both centre-back and left-back, should open the door for Aston Villa to sign Tyrone Mings permanently at the end of the season, although that might depend on whether the Lions manage to secure promotion to the Premier League.
Kelly has shown a level of maturity that belies his tender years, both in terms of decision-making and composure.
He has an extremely cool head on his young shoulders and has made a strong start to his career, meaning that it won’t be too difficult for him to make the step up to the Premier League next season.
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There are few very managers better than Eddie Howe when it comes to getting the best out of youngsters and Kelly has a good chance of realising his potential at Bournemouth should he continue his development in the right direction.
Leeds reviving their interest in this 23-year-old and signing him for £6m would be an absolute coup by Bielsa
Leeds United opinion: Whites should revive interest in Callum O’Dowda
Leeds Unitedhave been handed a massive boost in their pursuit of Bristol City winger Callum O’Dowda ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Times reporting that the 23-year-old Irishman wants a fresh start.
The Times understands that O’Dowda is unlikely to sign a new contract after being frozen out of the first-team at Ashton Gate in the latter stages of the campaign.
The winger hasn’t featured for Bristol City since early March despite having regained fitness from an injury and a number of Championship and Premier League clubs are keen to lure him away from the Robins.
O’Dowda is believed to be unhappy with the kind of treatment he has been given since his refusal to put pen to paper on a new deal and Leeds United might have something to look forward to in their pursuit of the highly-rated 23-year-old.
Back in January, Sky Sports linked the Republic of Ireland international with a move to Elland Road, with manager Marcelo Bielsa interested in securing the services of the versatile winger.
A move failed to materialize despite the player’s contract stand-off with his current club but O’Dowda looks sure to head for the exit door this time around.
The Times understands that Bristol City would be looking to sell Callum O’ Dowda for a fee of around £6million rather than risk losing him for free in a year’s time. The Whites are likely to change their stance in the transfer market after missing out on promotion to the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side looked all set for a return to the top-flight for the first time in 15 years but a poor run of form over the Easter period followed by a dramatic 4-2 defeat against Derby Countyin the second leg of the playoff semi-finals ensured that the Yorkshire giants stayed in the Championship for yet another season.
As things stand, the best thing that the Whites can do is put all the disappointment behind them and start right from scratch once again next season, although it’s much easier said than done.
To put things into perspective, Leeds should be looking at some quality wide players in the summer transfer window to add more depth to their options down the flanks.
Man City loanee Jack Harrison is likely to return to his parent club, meaning that Bielsa would have the likes of Jack Clarke, Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez as options out wide next season. And that is exactly why someone like Callum O’Dowda can add a lot of value to Leeds’s ranks this summer.
Jack Clarke enjoyed his breakthrough at Elland Road this past season and Leeds should be looking to use him a lot more next term but O’Dowda is a more established player and his playing style should suit Bielsa’s philosophy.
The Argentinian likes his wingers to run with drive, determination and directness to attack the opposition’s full-backs and the Irishman has all those attributes in abundance.
While essentially a left-sided player, O’Dowda is capable of playing on either side of the pitch and also in a central attacking role behind the striker.
His versatility should make him an exciting proposition for Leeds and the 23-year-old’s flair and trickery is likely to add that cutting edge to the team’s attack.
He racked up 4 goals and 4 assists from just 20 starts for Bristol City this season, which is enough evidence of his goalscoring and playmaking abilities as a wide player.
Still only 23, O’Dowda has plenty of time to make significant improvements to his game and working under an experienced manager like Bielsa should do a world of good for his development.
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That said, the Whites should make a renewed attempt to sign the Irishman this summer and they could possibly have a gem on their hands in the years to come should he go on to fulfil his potential.
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