Date:Thursday April 26 2007
It seems more and more likely that Mikael Forssell will be leaving St Andrew`s in the summer to play for a German club, probably Hannover. Steve Bruce has admitted that low-level discussions are already taking place.
The sticking point for Hannover may be Forssell`s earnings; he is the only real high-earner left at Birmingham City, on a rumoured weekly wage in excess of £25,000.
The Finnish international`s career has gone through some considerable highs and lows over the last few years. When he initially arrived at Birmingham at the start of their second season in the Championship, he shot into the top scorer ranks, ironically being Chelsea`s top scorer whilst not playing for the club.
He achieved hero status amongst the fans for his clinical finishing and many have dubbed him the best striker ever seen in royal blue, or certainly the best since the youthful Trevor Francis lit up the Football League in the 1970s.
His nineteen league goals in his first loan season propelled Blues into the top ten, giving them their highest ever finish in decades.
His story took a sadder turn the following year; plagued by the recurrence of a knee injury he spent almost an entire season on the sidelines and for the few games he did play, he seemed a broken figure.
A slow rehabilitation saw him make a shaky return during the relegation season but his contribution was scant and it was obvious that he was unfit and sadly lacking confidence. Further surgery was needed and he has spent a lot of this campaign on the sidelines.
He seems to have found his form in the reserves more recently though, but a brief cameo appearance at Carrow Road in the first team did not seem too promising and DJ Campbell soon replaced him in the sixteen.
Amongst rumours of rifts between player and manager, it is difficult to know the real truth as to why Forssell has not managed to break his way back into the first team. Fans were licking their lips at the thought of a Scandinavian striking partnership made in Heaven had he been able to pair up with Nicklas Bendtner, but it seems destined not to be.
The fans seem quite divided on the issue of whether he should go or stay.
Some feel that as Birmingham have paid out vast sums of money for his rehabilitation and wages that it would be more appropriate if they persevered with him for a little while longer, particularly if they do succeed in gaining promotion. Many would love to see him in the first team again.
Others are of the opinion that it`s time to say goodbye and thanks for the memories and allow him to move on.
Of course, it`s impossible to forecast whether he will ever regain the form of his magical first season but whatever happens he has a place in many fans` hearts.
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