When Matty Taylor became the first player in 30 years to swap the blue and white of Bristol Rovers for City’s deep red, he must have expected to be on the receiving end of some rather vitriolic comments from the fans who used to sing his name.
Yet, activating his £300,000 release clause in January, as reported by The Guardian, Bristol City appeared to have secured far more than local bragging rights. After all, Taylor was nothing short of prolific during 18 months across the city.
He inspired Rovers to promotion from League Two at the first time of asking with 27 goals in 46 games. And stepping up to the third tier was no problem at all, 16 goals in 27 suggesting that Taylor was still yet to find his level.
However, it appears that his mid-season move to the Championship may be a step too far. Though understandably overshadowed by the prolific form of Chelsea-owned teenager Tammy Abraham, Taylor’s tally of two goals in 15 second tier appearances for Lee Johnson’s Robins was disappointing in the extreme.
Taking his time
Therefore, while fans may have initially wondered whether QPR had missed a trick not pulling out all the stops to sign Taylor on the turn of the year, his slow start to life in Ashton Gate perhaps vindicates their decision.
The London club finished in a hugely disappointing place of 18th, netting only 52 goals in 2016/17. The lack of a prolific goalscorer (Idrissa Sylla was the only player to hit double figures) ensured that even a top half finish proved well beyond their means.
Therefore, supporters may have been surprised when manager Ian Holloway claimed that Taylor would not be a good fit for his often blunt outfit, as reported by Get West London - especially with the Daily Record claiming QPR were interested as far back as 2016.
"There's lots of players who step up a level and can score, but it's about the balance that I need of pace and power,” Holloway said. “Matty Taylor isn't really that sort of player."
Hindsight, however, suggests both QPR were right to swipe left on transfer Tinder.