Bristol Rovers set for Matty Taylor reverse as ex-Bristol City star trains with Joey Barton's men | OneFootball

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Football League World

·20 September 2023

Bristol Rovers set for Matty Taylor reverse as ex-Bristol City star trains with Joey Barton's men

Article image:Bristol Rovers set for Matty Taylor reverse as ex-Bristol City star trains with Joey Barton's men

Bristol Rovers fans could undergo their Matty Taylor moment if Chris Martin signs for their club - with reports that the striker is training with the Gas over a potential move.

Rovers' formerly adored striker Taylor caused heatwaves in Bristol when he swapped the blue and white checkered shirt for the red jersey of bitter rivals Bristol City in 2017 - the first player to do so since 1987.

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But with Martin having played for Bristol City until January, a report by Bristol Live has emerged that he is in training with Rovers, looking to secure a permanent contract - which could be an astute signing if he hits the ground running.

According to Bristol Live, former Robins striker Chris Martin is currently training at cross-city rivals Bristol Rovers in what would be a shock move for both clubs in the West Country.

The publication states that Gas manager Joey Barton is weighing up whether or not to hand veteran Martin a contract as he looks for a club following his release by Queens Park Rangers in June. His spell at Loftus Road only lasted six months, following the termination of his contract by mutual consent from Bristol City in January.

The report further states that Rovers missed out on signing Jonson Clarke-Harris from Peterborough on deadline day, with a deal bringing the Posh striker back to the Memorial Stadium being missed by a matter of seconds due to paperwork submissions occurring too late - and it has left Barton short-up front as his side languish in mid-table.

Clarke-Harris’ contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and it remains unsure as to whether Rovers will return for him in January - and that has brought Martin to their training ground, with a potential deal on the cards as he bids to impress Barton to offer him a new contract.

On Martin’s terms, he needs to return to fitness having been without a club for three months, and Rovers have offered him the chance to do so.

He’s not the only target Rovers are after; the report further claims that Lewis Grabban was in the stands for the draw vs Lincoln at the start of the month, though he remains a free agent after his release from Saudi giants Al-Ahli last winter.

Why would Chris Martin’s transfer be controversial?

We’ve seen all too well the response that Matty Taylor received from Bristol Rovers fans after he upped sticks to leave the club for bitter rivals City.

The poacher is not liked by many of a blue and white persuasion on the River Avon - and despite his career not taking off at Ashton Gate, he’s a cult hero amongst their fans for the manner of his transfer.

That being said, Martin’s three-year spell at Ashton Gate did result in 15 goals in 88 games - and should he move to the Memorial Stadium, he could well suffer the same fate as Taylor amongst the Robins faithful.

Would Chris Martin be a good signing for Bristol Rovers?

With only John Marquis as Rovers’ out-and-out striking option, Barton has been left short by the failed signing of Clarke-Harris. As a result, Aaron Collins and Jevani Brown has been used as back-up options, but they are best out wide and that has placed an extra burden on their front line to produce.

In Martin, they’d be signing a player who hasn’t had a full League One campaign since his 17-goal-haul for Norwich as a 21-year-old - and his last 10 years in the Championship have returned 92 goals, which is quite the coup for Barton’s men.

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