As the Blues once again narrowly avoided relegation after an exciting end to the roller-coaster 2016/2017 season under new manager Harry Redknapp, focus once again focuses on potential transfers. Birmingham City aren’t known for their big buys and exciting young players, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t some great players that are realistic for City and can help with next season’s campaign, which could try to pick up on the promotion push that Gary Rowett left on. Here are just four names that should be the top of Birmingham’s shopping list in order to show they mean business.
Shining on his debut season for Brentford, David Bentley has gone from strength to strength. Spending nearly his entire career at Southend United, Bentley showed good promise in League One and League two, eventually earning him a move of initially £1.1 million pounds to Brentford. 45 appearances and 13 clean sheets later he’s seen to be a good buy for a Brentford side which had a decent season.
At just 23 he’s got plenty of time to improve and he seems certain to do so. Bentley would be a fine replacement for the ageing veteran Kuszczak, although his probability of being sold may be low, considering he’s only been at Brentford for a season and they would be looking for a high fee, at least £2 million, to compensate.
Barnsley star Andy Yiadom is high on quite a few Championship side’s list this summer, and it’s clear to see why. The Ghanaian international had a stellar season, being on many teams of the year and being the star player during an average season for the rest of the club. 32 appearances this season showed off his impressive form, with his ability to play either left or right back complimenting his footballing talents.
Pacey on the ball, a good dribbler and a fine interceptor, he’d make a fine addition to a Blues team which needs strengthening in its defence. Birmingham conceded 64 goals last season, the joint 9th worst in the league. 25-year-old Yiadom would be a great addition and a realistic one as well, entering the final year of his contract next season.
Part of the infamous Chelsea loaning system, Baker is a hot prospect with a doubtful future at Chelsea. After having a strong season at Dutch side Vitesse, scoring 10 goals as an attacking midfielder, he would be a stellar signing for Birmingham City. Baker is blessed with a prolific finishing ability and is strong on both feet.
A great free-kick and penalty taker, Baker can score belters from long range and is a good dribbler on the ball, not only to make opportunities for himself but to also then pass and open up opportunities for others.
The 22-year-old Englishman is great home-grown talent and could once again go back out on loan as Chelsea would struggle to fit him in Conte’s title winning side.
This gives Birmingham a great opportunity to use him in the Championship and even add in a buy-out clause at the end of the season, although undoubtedly this would be expensive and would reach the heights of £10 million, a steep figure for City for pay, even for such a talented man. Still, it’s not within the realms of sane thought to think that maybe Birmingham could get at least one season out of Baker in a bid to push for promotion.
A relatively unknown player from the Dutch Eredivisie, Mahi was a star player last season, scoring 17 times and getting four assists in 32 appearances last season for FC Groningen. The left winger is a great finisher and works well with long balls, playing in a counter-attacking style that is well suited to the championship.
A prolific skiller as well, the winger/attacking forward would do well to bolster the Blues attacking options, which scored the 3rd least goals last season. With an ageing Donaldson and the young Bielik going back to Arsenal, Mahi would work well with Che Adams and Jutkiewitz to provide the firepower needed and at just 23 years old, he’s worth the risk for such high potential and will probably cost between £3-4 million.
Obviously, there are many other names that could be added to this list to help Harry strengthen his new side for the upcoming season.
Who do you think should be signed to give the Blues a fighting chance next season?
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