Our View – Assessing reported Bristol Rovers target

Former Coventry City forward Jordy Hiwula is reportedly a target for a number of League One sides following his release from the league champions, writes Joe Doyle.

Those clubs include Bristol Rovers who have been linked with him ever since the table was decided on a points-per-game basis due to COVID-19. Hiwula, whose signature appears to be highly valued, had an impressive debut season for the Sky Blues in the 2018/19 campaign which saw the 25-year-old finish top-scorer with 13 goals in all competitions. That helped the Sky Blues to an 8th place finish in their first season back in the third-tier despite mainly being deployed in the left-wing position by Mark Robins due to his pace, dribbling and ability to create chances.

The Manchester City academy product wasn’t able to achieve the highs of his debut season this term however, managing 4 goals and 3 assists before a dip in form during October and an injury meant that he was unable to return to the starting eleven. His last league start for the Sky Blues came in a 2-1 win against Fleetwood where Hiwula was replaced at half time. This was also as a result of a formation change by the Sky Blues as they switched to a 5-2-2-1 formation without orthodox wingers. There was also tough competition for the traditional ‘number 9’ role with the likes of Matty Godden, Amadou Bakayoko and fans-favourite Max Biamou who all offered something different to the table in what proved to be an outstanding season for the Sky Blues.

Hiwula is very much proven at League One level, however, and has shown promise during his spell at the Sky Blues as well as scoring goals at this level multiple times before with Bradford and Walsall showing he knows where the back of the net is, despite not being able to break into the Huddersfield Town first team who signed him from Manchester City with hopes for the future.

Should Hiwula make the switch to the Memorial Ground, he could fit into the Pirates’ team from a wide left position or in a more central forward role supporting Clarke-Harris if Rovers are able to fend off interest from the Championship for him and Rovers supporters will hope his signature will help push them towards the play-off places next season. Although Hiwula is at times a frustrating player, it is clear he has the ability to be an asset to any League One outfit as he scored 17 goals in 56 starts for the Sky Blues from the left-wing position in all competitions.

It is also worth mentioning that the Pirates have a history of tempting Coventry City players to the Memorial Ground as last year saw Abu Ogogo, Tom Davies, and Jonson Clark-Harris all sign for Bristol Rovers. This is likely down to Rovers’ head of recruitment being Tommy Widdrington who was appointed by Mark Robins during the Sky Blues’ League Two season before moving to the South West club in May 2018 and it’s been widely speculated that Rovers could land yet another former Coventry man in Hiwula who will be able to link up with his former team mates if they can win the race for him.

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