Opinion: Dutch Maik could be the difference for Blues
On Friday evening when Birmingham City played against Cardiff City, there was a return to the starting 11 for midfielder Maikel Kieftenbeld.
Before the game, many fans, including myself, were begging for the Dutchman to play a part in the game and after his spirited efforts in the 1-0 win, I think it is now clear to see why everyone wanted him back in the team.
I can't take anything away from the efforts of Blues' other midfielders so far this season but none of them, including arguably one of the most energetic players in the squad in David Davis, compete with the enthusiasm and desire that Kieftenbeld shows on the pitch.
Throughout his time with Blues, the 27-year-old has proven that his energy levels can carry him through a game and we can all now count our lucky stars that his deadline day move to Derby County fell through because I really do believe that Kieftenbeld can make a huge difference for Blues this season.
You might be thinking to yourselves, well he isn't going to make the same difference as Che Adams or Jota is he? And you would be right in saying that.
However, Kieftenbeld will have an influence on their ability to play further up the pitch because he will be the midfielder that helps get Blues moving in the final third.
For me, and I know this is quite a big statement, I think the former Groningen man could be the difference between Blues finishing tenth in the league for the third time in four seasons, and Blues finishing in the top six.
Some fans may not rate him as highly as others do but for me, Kieftenbeld is one of the most reliable players in the squad and we should count ourselves lucky that we still have him.