With deadline day creeping ever closer, many people are looking forward to the prospect of Harry Redknapp completing last minute deals and being mobbed by journalists in his car as he leaves the training ground, announcing the signing of the season. However, as alluring as this may sound, Blues may have already completed their work in the transfer market with diligence and competency as they prepare to mount a promotion challenge. The calls for new signings have been loud and clear; after all Birmingham City flirted with relegation from the Championship under the disastrous reign of Zola.
Nine signings later and the squad has a different complexion to it. Youth and pace combined with experience and strength may well provide a change in fortune for the team, which would be most welcomed by the loyal fans. David Stockdale is arguably the best acquisition made by Harry. The former Brighton keeper, who was selected for the Championship team of the year, will be sure to win the team numerous points if he recreates his form from last season. The arrival of Marc Roberts can only add to this as the centre half looks to form a formidable partnership with Morrison. Again, this is another player who played exceptionally well last season and looks to have the attributes of a quality defender.
The additions of Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall came something as a surprise to many, as both are exciting prospects at Arsenal. Carl Jenkinson has more of a reputation as a fringe player at Arsenal, featuring mainly in cup competitions however he clearly has potential to develop further since his loan spell at West Ham was halted through injury. Bramall is another exciting prospect who was plucked from non-league football last January. Wenger clearly thinks he will develop further under the guidance of the Birmingham City coaching staff but he has already shown frightening pace in his first game for the club adopting a wing back position against Bournemouth.
The midfield has been bolstered by the permanent signing of Gardner, of who is well known to Blues fans. The other signings added by Redknapp are N’Doye and more recently Chelsea youngster Jerimie Boga. The man mountain looks to have been brought into add some strength to the middle of the park to play alongside the likes of Davis, Gardner, Keiftenbeld or Gleeson. As for Boga, his trickery and athleticism in the middle of the park are two traits Redknapp needs at his disposal, this could prove to be his best signing yet!
Talk in the pub, forums, radio phone ins and social media has been populated with passionate Blues fans calling for a 20 goal season striker to be brought in and solve our problems. These do not grow on trees and are hard to come across, as Birmingham well know. However the signings of Vassell and Gallagher provide hope of this void being filled. They offer something different, something we haven’t had in a while. Goals. The pace shown by Vassell and the reputation carried by Gallagher may very well be the final piece of the jigsaw for Redknapp to mount a promotion push. Also, the international break couldn’t gave come at a better time, giving the main strikers in Adams and Vassell to get back into fitness.
Each day papers report on new rumours and new bids but if the transfer window were to shut tomorrow, Blues can be content with what they have achieved so far. However, it would be foolish to think we have the strongest squad in the Championship but what we do have is a fantastic manager and a combination of youth and experience that could result in something extraordinary by the end of the season.
Jeremie Boga- season long loan
Sam Gallagher- season long loan
Carl Jenkinson- season long loan
Cohen Bramall- season long loan
Isaac Vassell- undisclosed
Cheikh N’Doye- free
David Stockdale- free
Craig Gardner- 1.58 million
Marc Roberts- 3.60 million