Fabbrini has recently re-joined the Birmingham City FC squad following the end of the 2016/17 season, but his future is somewhat up in the air.
Arriving initially on loan at the club from Watford in 2015, he impressed during the short loan spell and was rumoured to be considered of being signed permanently. However, this was not successful and the following season he spent on loan at Middlesbrough. But, in the following transfer window he was signed on a permanent basis on the 27th of January 2016, for £1.5 million. This was the start of a brighter and better future for the club as the fee paid was the most substantial for some time, adding proven quality to the team who was and is in his prime. Rather than bringing in both young and inexperienced player,s or at the other end of the spectrum in players that are reaching the end of their career carrying many years of experience. Or, players that are generally cheap and have low wages. Don’t get me wrong, this did work at times but for every Chris Burke or Tom Adeyemi, we got a Elliot, Lee or Hayden Mullins.
At the time of his arrival and shortly afterward, Fabb was not able to break into the first team due to the week in week out dominating performances by none other than Jon Toral, who was voted player of the year for the 2015/16 season. This was due to Fabbrini, in the formation that manager Gary Rowett was using would have been played as a central attacking midfielder – directly competing with Jon Toral. Even though he mainly operates as a centre forward. Towards the end of the season, Toral suffered an injury which allowed Fabbrini to be in the starting line-up. With this opportunity, he impressed. His performances were dubbed “increasingly influential” as the games went on. Although, this did not carry on with the start of the 2016/17 season. Rowett opted not to reuse his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, therefore leaving Fabbrini without a natural / preferred position to play. This caused him to have very little opportunity within the first team – amassing to only two league starts till the end of December 2016. It was then speculated at this time that Fabbrini would leave in the transfer window of 2017.
With the managerial transition of Rowett to Zola, many believed that Fabrinni would get preferential treatment due to being the same nationality as Zola – but this was not the case. With opportunities at Birmingham dwindling for Fabbrini, he was shipped out to Italian Serie B outfit Spezia on loan from the 23rd of January 2017. This was just shy of it being a year since he was signed permanently. During his loan spell at Spezia he impressed, aiding in achieving a playoff spot. He featured 17 times and scored once in his stint from January till May.
This leaves us now with an uncertain future for this player indeed. It is believed that Spezia have / had an option to buy Fabbrini for £1.5 million, the same fee that was paid for him in January 2016. As of the moment, this has not been activated due Fabbrini linking up with the squad in the early days of pre-season. It has been rumoured that he may stay at Spezia and is happy to do so, while it was rumoured that Sunderland were watching him in early April. With his performances in Italy, he may be attracting attention and Harry Redknapp may yet decide to keep him here and utilise him in the squad next term.
I personally hope for the latter, we have not seen his full potential in the shirt at this current time and I believe that Harry may be the man to get the best out of him. On top of this, it is not the same old days where members of the squad would be let go for peanuts just to keep the team afloat financially, and therefore there is no financial pressure to let him go.
His future is undecided and I wouldn’t go hedging my bets at this stage, especially with there still being two months left of the summer transfer window.
Let us know what you think the future holds for Fabb in the comment section below!