Birmingham City has surpassed all preseason expectations this season with the Blues sitting just 4 points and 3 places off the play-off spots in the Championship.
Credit must go to Garry Monk and his staff for this remarkable turn of fortunes in comparison to last season with virtually the same group of players.
However, cracks have shown this season and our biggest weakness is the strength in depth which has hindered blues when looking to capitalise on these play-off positions.
The loss of David Davis in preseason was a big loss and throughout the season the squad has been threadbare at times with the loss of Jota, Gary, and Craig Gardner and Jaques Maghoma. Calling on youth players such as Viv Solomon and Charlie Lakin to step in and fill the void which they have done excellently.
However, Blues cannot rely on youth and must add further depth to the squad but with the transfer embargo still looming large blues only have 1 remaining transfer to make be it either a loan or free transfer.
The first debate would be which position should Blues utilise their transfer in and I for one would like to see blues add a little more in the final third be it a winger or number 10.
At times Blues lack a plan B and a player the can operate as a number 10 would be perfect if blues are looking to break a team down or play a different style, a Jon Toral type fit. Somebody who can change a game and add a different dimension to the game.
The other position I believe that Blues could do with more depth is in the wide positions and particularly a wide right midfielder. With Jota missing the last 3 games with injury and the recent return of Maghoma blues have shown they are severely weak in those wide positions and don’t have the same quality to bring into the team. As steady as Mahoney has been he isn’t quite filling the void left by our tricky Spanish playmaker and I fully believe that a move for a wide player would prove to be smart come January.
With the squad so thin at the moment it is crucial that Garry Monk doesn’t rush into making his final decision on where and what to utilise his loan move on. With Blues also looking at keeping the wage bill down, making sure that they are adding quality will prove even more tricky when the likes of Villa are looking at adding the likes of Tom Heaton to the ranks come January.
Where do you think that Monk should improve come January? Let us know in the comment section below.
Words by James Jenkinson