Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has revealed he is hopeful new arrival Scott Sinclair can stay with the club years, in an interview with Bristol World.
Bristol Rovers acquired the services of Sinclair on a free transfer following his exit from Preston North End, with the 33-year-old signing on a short-term basis.
The winger started his career with the Pirates, making his debut back in the 2004/05 campaign and now returns to the Memorial Stadium almost two decades on.
Given his age and lack of playing time since last season, the deal only to January initially is expected, yet speaking to Bristol World, manager Barton was asked on whether he could earn an extended deal in the weeks and months to come.
“As luck would have it, he’s out of contract, he’s in the right shape in terms of his body, and it’s a position we feel his experience could really add to our group. It works for all parties, it’s obviously short-term, to begin with but let’s hope this is an Indian summer for Scott and he can have a number of good years here,” he said.
“I think his mum and dad are over in Bath so he has a lot of friends and family in the area. Maybe the older Gasheads can see him fulfil his potential in the quartered shirt as a teenager when he was in the academy.”
Sinclair will be looking to make his second debut for the club when Bristol Rovers host Plymouth Argyle on Saturday afternoon.
A positive update from Barton…
Sinclair obviously has a lot of quality and has shown it in both the Premier League, the Championship and in Scotland with Celtic over recent years. The main concern is fitness, and if he can prove that to both Barton and the Bristol Rovers hierarchy, there is no reason why he can’t earn a contract extension.
He has plenty of experience and knowledge of the game and can be hugely beneficial both on and off the pitch for the younger players in and around the first-team squad. Even if he can’t have an impact on the pitch at least for another few games, he will be influential in the dressing room.
He also offers strong competition for places and so other players playing in his position will need to step up their game in order to keep Sinclair out of the team for the rest of his contract and possibly for the foreseeable future.