FOOTBALL Sports News

The Curious Case of Mohamed Eisa

After scoring 23 league goals for Cheltenham Town last season, there were plenty of League One and Championship clubs circling Mo Eisa after a stellar season in League Two.

There were rumours that Brentford, Leeds and Portsmouth were all interested in the striker, with the Robins reportedly demanding a seven figure fee for the 23-year-old.

But it was Lee Johnson – son of Cheltenham boss Gary – who eventually signed Eisa for Bristol City, bringing him to the Championship side for a rumoured £1.5 million on a four year contract.

Inevitably one of the very best players to wear Cheltenham Town colours leaves the club for a record fee. This move suits all parties, #ctfc get a huge cash injection that will hopefully be invested wisely and #BristolCity get a top striker. Very well deserved move for Mo Eisa.— Luke Saunders (@LukeSaunders17) 23 July 2018

Since the transfer, Eisa has started just one game in the cup and played just 25 minutes in the league since arriving at Ashton Gate, and has had very little first team opportunities since the start of the year.

He did pick up an ankle injury in late September and was out for around two months and, whilst he briefly came back into the squad after then, he hasn’t made the bench since Bristol City’s 2-0 win over Swansea at the start of February.

There were lots of reports that Eisa could be on his way out of the club on loan in January, with the likes of Charlton, Forest Green and Mansfield all apparently linked with the forward.

“We’ve had a number of offers for Mo Eisa,” Lee Johnson said. “I think it would be fantastic for Mo to make another little step before he is ready to be an absolute regular starter. He’s jumped up six leagues in 18 months and done very well. He’s looking very good in training.”

According Charlton manager Lee Bowyer, they were very close to signing Eisa but, because his parent club couldn’t bring a striker, the deal fell through.

“He was one we were looking to bring in. Bristol were trying hard to bring someone in,” said Bowyer. “We were his first choice. He would’ve been a good replacement for Karlan [Grant] in terms of the similarities between the two of them, but it just didn’t happen.”

We have paid the ransom to whoever kidnapped Mo Eisa in November and he’s free again?— Graham Clapp (@gmc_63) 26 March 2019

So, what next for Eisa? With three years left on his contract, it seems unlikely that Bristol City will let him go permanently.

But with three or four players ahead of the Sudanese striker in the pecking order, it looks increasingly likely that he’ll be loaned out in the summer.

There will undoubtedly be some League One and League Two clubs chasing him and, with Billy Waters returning to Cheltenham on loan in January, perhaps Michael Duff can lure Eisa back to Whaddon Road in the summer.

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