Bristol City have turned around last season’s Championship campaign, that was propped up by Tammy Abraham, and sit in the play-off picture.
However, the optimism that they would have with this placing was somewhat levelled today (January 1) by a rampant Aston Villa who smashed the Robins aside 5-0.
They have also now got to put up with another round of disappointment with news that Jonathan Leko’s parent club, Premier League side West Brom, have decided to recall him from his loan at Ashton Gate.
Kinshasa-born England international Leko, who is only 18, has been with the Robins since the end of August 2017, just before the closing of the summer transfer window.
The youngster, who has 35 England caps at age levels from Under-16 to Under-19, featured in 11 Sky Bet Championship games for the Robins during his time at Bristol City, providing one assist in the 4-1 win against Derby County.
The lament from Robins boss Lee Johnson that Leko “hasn’t had as much game time as he’d hope” is reflected by the fact that his 11 Championship appearances have yielded just 403 minutes. This average of just shy of 37 minutes per game, or around 41% of possible game time, has likely played a large part in West Brom’s recall of the rated youngster.
Premier League clubs are said to be thinking of penalising clubs that take their young talents out on loan, then starve them of game time. This policy is said to be being policed by the likes of Liverpool for any lower league side looking to loan their rated youngsters like Ben Woodburn and Ryan Kent.