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.

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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.

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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.

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