Matty Taylor: Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke thought striker would leave

Matty Taylor (right) and Darrell Clarke
Matty Taylor (right) signed for Darrell Clarke's Bristol Rovers from Forest Green in 2014

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke admits he thought the club would lose striker Matty Taylor this summer.

Taylor, 26, was the Football League's top scorer last season, netting 27 League Two goals as Rovers won a second consecutive promotion.

Out of contract in June, he had offers from Championship clubs before finally signing a new deal with Clarke's side.

"He's earned the right to take his time over his decisions. He's made the right decision," Clarke told BBC Points West.

"I thought we would lose him. It's very difficult to keep a striker that was the leading goalscorer in all the divisions.

"His record speaks for itself over the last two years so we're delighted to finally end that saga.

"We're pleased, he's pleased, and we crack on with what he's good at on the pitch."

Oxford United manager Michael Appleton previously told BBC Radio Oxford he thought he and Taylor had "shook hands on an agreement" to sign for the U's.

While mulling over his options, the striker hired a personal trainer in an attempt to stay fit.

Taylor added: "It was a long stressful summer. It took a while. I've apologised for that, I'm here now, and ready to get going.

"It was a massive decision for me but I'm glad to be back."

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