Reported Derby County and Nottingham Forest target Zain Westbrooke says he opted to join League One side Bristol Rovers after being convinced by a Powerpoint presentation, Bristol Post report.
The former Brentford man was a star at Coventry City early last season.
His form reportedly attracted the attentions of several Championship clubs ahead of January.
TEAMtalk labelled him a sensation, citing Derby, Forest, West Bromwich Albion and Bristol City as suitors for the midfielder as Coventry valued him at £2 million.
A move away from the Sky Blues last January never materialised.
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What then followed few could predict. Westbrooke felt less central to Coventry’s plans despite a new contract offer, while the global health pandemic prompted League One to end early.
Speaking to reporters, Westbrooke explains how offers then arrived in the summer but he was surprisingly convinced to move back down to League One with Bristol Rovers.
I didn’t want to leave [Coventry] but it was a weird scenario that I never really got to the bottom of, and didn’t need to in the end because I felt like I wasn’t wanted in the way I was when the contract was being offered when I was playing every week in the team. I was in contact with quite a few teams and I had to make a decision as to what was going to be best for me, playing wise. I was speaking to about five or six clubs and (Rovers) weren’t a club I was speaking to, so they weren’t in the mix. But they called my agent and said they’d like to speak to me and show me their plans. They sent me a Powerpoint with quite a lot on me, a bit like when Mark Robins spoke to me when I joined Coventry, and I felt that instant want for me, and the part I would play – the big role. I said to my dad, ‘that’s what I want, for someone to want me to be the main player,’ rather than just go there to be a number.
Westbrooke has gone on to make ten starts for Rovers in League One this term.
At 24, he has plenty of potential and he will surely eye a future move to the Championship.
Forest brought in many players over the summer. It’s likely he would have struggled at the City Ground without the guarantees of a regular first-team spot.
Derby, meanwhile, placed faith in their younger midfield stars such as Max Bird and Jason Knight while Wayne Rooney’s best position these days is in a deep-lying playmaker role.
But having said that, the lack of creativity in Derby’s midfield is a worry. Westbrooke is an attack-minded player, and on current form he may end up swapping places with the Rams next season.