Bristol Rovers talent Zain Walker seals National League move and more players could follow

By Sam Frost

Bristol Rovers winger Zain Walker has joined National League side King's Lynn Town on loan, the Gas confirmed on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old has agreed a one-month youth loan and joins up with Ian Culverhouse's Linnets ahead of their fixture against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Walker, who Rovers snapped up at exit trials following his release by Fulham as a 16-year-old, starred in the Pirates' youth ranks and an impressive pre-season in 2020 led to a breakthrough campaign at the Mem.

He accumulated 15 appearances over the course of the, becoming a regular part of Joey Barton's side and performing impressively despite the club succumbing to relegation.

But a chaotic summer of recruitment in BS7 saw Barton acquire 17 new players, leaving a logjam in attacking midfield and on the wings which threatened to stymy Walker's impressive development over the past year.

He has appeared on the bench twice but is yet to make a competitive appearance for the Gas in 2021/22.

With chances at Rovers likely to be few and far between for the time being with Sam Nicholson, Antony Evans, Luke Thomas and several others ahead of him in the depth chart, Rovers have wisely moved to get the teenager out on loan for a short period.

And in the National League, he is sure to get valuable experience in a competitive and physical division which ought to make him a better player upon his return to the Mem.

Several promising youngsters at Rovers are in a similar situation, and the club is likely to urge more to try their luck out on loan, particularly with the development squad's fixture list dramatically reduced by the pandemic.

Jed Ward, Pablo Martinez, Lucas Tomlinson and Tom Mehew are other candidates who could benefit from regular playing time over the coming weeks and months.

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