Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Birmingham City In Hot Pursuit Of Signing These Proven Midfielders: A Couple Of Shrewd Moves?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

In the fight for promotion, which is heating up quite well, Birmingham City aren’t out the race yet, although they have lost a bit of momentum. They are nine points adrift of the play-off spots at the moment in spite of the appointment of Gianfranco Zola. The Blues have managed three draws and three defeats in his first six Championship games, which is why he finds himself under immense pressure at the moment.

To make things worse, Birmingham City have been handicapped with the absence of Jacques Maghoma due to his national commitments in the Africa Cup of Nations and Greg Stewart due to an injury. To bolster his chances of earning promotion to the Premier League, it is reported that Zola is in pursuit of signing Swansea City’s Wayne Routledge and Derby County’s Johnny Russell in the ongoing transfer window.
Undoubtedly, Routledge is being targetted to add firepower, quality, experience and versatility.

The winger is a perennially used asset and has appeared 18 times in the Premier League this season, where he has mustered 2 goals and created 22 chances so far. Frankly speaking, he is yards better than most of the players Birmingham City have at their disposal. Although his contract, binding him to the Liberty Stadium, expires in 2018, it is the high likelihood of the Swans getting relegated from the top tier this season which might actually tempt the 32-year-old into making a move to St. Andrew’s.

Russell’s inclusion in Zola’s wish-list is no surprise either, considering his knack to add strength on the wide and attacking areas. Just like Routledge, Russell is a proven veteran for the Championship side, Derby County for quite some time now. The Scottish international is an impact player, is quick, agile, sharp and immobile up front. Being a winger conventionally, he happens to have the genes of running behind the defences which make him a valuable asset. He has more than a year left on his contract but the Rams might be tempted to sell him if Birmingham City put forth a decent deal on their table.

Zola is undoubtedly in the process of rebuilding the side and the perfect blend shall be offered by the abundance of experience from Routledge and Russell. Only time will tell whether the Italian boss can bring a colossal transformation in his side by engineering these two bold moves but it these two deals materialise, the Blues can have a serious shot at the play-off spots.

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