Wells On Future, Upcoming Matches & More

June 2, 2022 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Nahki Wells says he may have to leave Bristol City this summer in a bid to secure regular first-team football.

Wells, who turned 32 yesterday, started just seven Sky Bet Championship matches last season and can ill afford another campaign languishing on the substitutes’ bench.

He will seek clarification over his future with Nigel Pearson, the City manager, in the coming weeks and believes there will be plenty of interest in him from other clubs.

“At my age, I cannot afford to have another season like the last one,” Wells told Bernews.

“I want to be playing regularly and scoring goals. If I’m playing regularly, I have no doubt the goals and performances will follow.

“I’m under no illusions that there will be conversations this summer, and there will be interest [from other clubs]. That’s something I will have to access when the time comes.”

With Wells entering the final year of his contract, City must decide whether to keep him, recoup a small slice of the £5 million they paid for him in January 2020, or let him leave on a free transfer.

“Common sense says that if the club can recoup some money for me at this stage, they will,” Wells said.

nahki wells Bermuda June 2 2022

“It depends on what money they get offered for a player like myself at this stage of my career.

“I know there will be interest in me. It depends on what value the club places on me. A lot is going on.”

Despite his uncertain future, the relationship between Wells and Pearson remains strong, with the forward insisting he is committed to returning for pre-season training and fighting for a first-team place.

“The gaffer has sent me a message to reiterate that we need to have a conversation to see where things are from my perspective,” said Wells, who scored three goals last season. “In that message, he stated that he was keen for me to stay.

“I don’t know what the board’s stance is, but from what I can tell from the gaffer, he is still content with having me at the club.

“Ultimately, I think it will come down to what I want to do. I’m in a limbo situation, but I’m focused on going back for pre-season and trying to turn the tables. That has to be my mindset.”

Wells was disappointed a loan move to Championship rivals Cardiff City fell through in the January transfer window due to his club’s insistence he could only leave permanently.

Having fallen behind strikers Chris Martin, Antoine Semenyo and Andi Weimann in the pecking order, he managed just three starts during the second half of the season.

“I felt it would go that way, which is why I was frustrated at not going [on loan] in the first place,” he said.

“It was a difficult period for me. The guys in front of me kicked on during the second half of the season.

“It limited me, and I had to bite my tongue, be professional, and go about things the right way.”

Wells will captain Bermuda in their opening Concacaf Nations League game in group B of League B against Haiti at the Flora Duffy Stadium on Saturday before away matches against Guyana next Tuesday and the Dominican Republic next Saturday. Bermuda take on Montserrat at home on June 14.

“We’re led to believe Haiti will be the toughest game in our group,” Wells said. “They will be a good side, but if we have any chance of topping the group, we need to get a result on Saturday.”

Football Bermuda May 31 2022

Coach Kyle Lightbourne’s squad includes several youngsters such as Kole Hall, who has signed for Vanarama National League North side Chester, Daniel Cook, Edry Moore and Mical Hardtman.

“We have a lot of players aged 17 to 24 who have come through the ranks,” Wells added. “The country can look forward to seeing these new faces play in these four games.”

As one of the surviving members of the Bermuda team that reached the Gold Cup in 2019, Wells insists there is no reason why the current crop cannot repeat that feat by qualifying for the biennial competition.

Bermuda must top their group to guarantee qualification for the Gold Cup next year. They will also have a chance to reach the tournament via the preliminaries should they finish runners-up.

“We’ve lost some players since the Gold Cup [in 2019] but picked up guys like Kole, Kane Crichlow and Luke Robinson,” he said. “The Gold Cup is pretty much the pinnacle of what we can achieve at this level. We’re looking to get back there.”

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