Brett Pitman has signed for Bristol City on a three-year deal, having passed a medical on Monday afternoon.
The young striker had been one of the hottest prospects in the lower divisions of late, having plundered 26 league goals for Bournemouth last season and been the subject of recent bids from Premier League new boys Blackpool.
Last Thursday, Pitman was in Blackpool discussing personal terms after a bid of around £600,000 was accepted. However, talks broke down late on Thursday and the striker returned to the south coast.
Those surprised by the decision to reject a chance to play Premier League football would have been even more confused when, a day later, a bid was lodged by Bristol City and Pitman agreed to personal terms without a hitch.
He will now go straight into the squad for Saturday's trip to Roy Keane's Ipswich Town, and according to an interview on the club's website, he can't wait to get started.
The question on everyone's lips, though, is why turn down the lure of the Premier League for the Championship?
Well, Pitman is giving nothing away. In his first interview since joining the Robins he said, "There are a number of reasons why I made the choice. I know them reasons, the manager knows them reasons, but I've chosen this club."
He also went on to say he had chosen Bristol over Blackpool and not the Championship over the Premier League. The question still remains: why?
It is reasonable to assume in most cases that if two clubs come in for you, one being a league higher than the other, then the logical choice is to choose the better side. Not only that, Blackpool would have broken their transfer record with the signing, which leads me to believe he would have gone straight into the starting 11 alongside Marlon Harewood.
Obviously, something went on when Pitman went up to Blackpool that put him off. Was it the city? Was it the club? Was it the manager?
Ian Holloway commented last week that he felt young players were becoming "monsters," as they were being given far too much money too young. Maybe this was enough to put Pitman off the manager, but Holloway's positive comments about the youngster suggest otherwise.
What about club stature? Even if Blackpool are relegated this season, they would still be a Championship club, meaning Pitman will still see himself in a better position than he if he had stayed at Bournemouth. Also, Bristol's poor start sees them considered far from promotion hopefuls as things stand. Maybe it was the ambition of the club that attracted him to Bristol—the new chairman having already signed goalkeeper David James this summer.
If this is true though, then Blackpool fans should be very worried. If their Premier League side don't have the same ambitious outlook as Bristol City, then it would seem they are using the Premier League to make a bit of money and have already accepted relegation.
If that were my team, I would be asking serious questions as to why a League One player said no to my Premier League club and yes to a team currently in the bottom five in the Championship.
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