Bristol City Confirm Contract Extension For Young Prospect

Bristol City defender Jamie Knight-Lebel has signed a new contract with the Robins in a three-year deal until the Summer of 2027.

The 19-year-old made his debut for the Championship outfit when he featured in the final 17 minutes of the 2-0 Severnside derby defeat to Cardiff City in October. Knight-Lebel also appeared in the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Nottingham Forest, playing 37 minutes for his boyhood club.

The Montreal-born defender joined Bristol City’s academy at under-14 level and has captained the under-21 side. He was also named Scholar of the Year at the 2023 end-of-season awards. With injuries to senior defenders Kal Naismith and Rob Atkinson, the Canadian is realistically the Robins’ third-choice specialist centre-back at present.

Liam Manning’s side currently sit in 14th in the Championship table and although are not mathematically safe just yet, look highly likely to be competing in the second tier again next season. It’s been somewhat of a turbulent year for the club after losing star midfielder Alex Scott to Bournemouth in the summer and also changing management mid-season.

Knight-Lebel spoke to club media after putting pen to paper on his new deal and is eager to earn another contract at Ashton Gate during the next three years.

“I’m pleased with my season so far,” the young defender said.

“I’ve been with the first team. It’s been a great experience and definitely something I want to keep doing. I’m delighted with how it’s gone so far but you always want more in football, I just want to keep going and keep progressing.

“Three years is good security, but I want to push for a new deal, you’re always working for your next contract. For me, personally, just getting out and playing men’s football, build up to develop and hopefully feature more on the pitch for Bristol City.”

Writer’s View

This is an excellent move by Bristol City to secure young talent at the club. It isn’t unfamiliar for prospects at Championship sides to be poached by Premier League outfits nowadays and usually without the bigger clubs having to pay a lot. Knight-Lebel has featured in 32 matchdays so far this season and Bristol City clearly rank the youngster very highly.

The Robins aren’t in a relegation fight this campaign and don’t look likely to threaten for the playoffs so this is a great opportunity for head coach Liam Manning to give the 19-year-old minutes from now until May and see whether he is capable of playing a bigger part next season or whether a loan move may be the best option for the under-21’s captain next campaign. Manning is building something at Ashton Gate, and it will be interesting to see if Knight-Lebel is part of the 38-year-old’s plans over the next few years.

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