Maybe.... by akvbcfc
So the deadline has passed and once again Alex McLeish can breathe without the fear that his top stars will be pinched from under his nose.
To the surprise of many Bluenoses, both Sebastian Larsson and James McFadden were still registered as employees of Birmingham City Football Club come 12.01 am on the 2nd September.
The majority of Bluenoses refused to fall for the statement by David Sullivan where he categorically stated that neither players would be sold (but let`s be fair, who can blame them?!), but thankfully for all the parties involved, the Blues board remained true to their word as they rebuffed all offers for the players.
However, one problem still remains for Blues fans: Where`s the money gone?! We have heard that if Blues had stayed up then McLeish had deals lined up for Edmilson, Pavlyuchenko, Bradley and others, but it appears to some that the board now couldn`t even afford the 2 million to prise Ben Watson away from Crystal Palace. The 2 major weaknesses in the Blues team remain from last January- a dearth of talent in the centre of the park and at the heart of the defence.
While McLeish went hell for leather after Bobo Balde, he left himself too open to the fact that Balde could reject us, and so he did not leave enough time for another defender to be lined up instead. In a country full of good defenders, (my personal target was Matthew Kilgallon of Sheffield United), it appears strange that McLeish put all his eggs in one basket as he chased after a 32 year old Guinean international.
Failure to land Balde (because he wanted yet more money from Celtic before departing), and a failure to secure any other permanent signings as cover has left McLeish with the task of finding a talented, athletic centre back to compete with Tiny, Ridgewell and Jaidi for a starting slot. In the meanwhile McLeish must do with those three and Kelly as cover, which isn`t the best news for a team which supposedly is meant to have the best squad in the Championship.
McLeish and Blues flirted with Palace midfielder Watson for a part of the Summer, but after having one offer rebuffed they failed to return to Palace with a substantial enough offer to tempt Simon Jordan into selling. With Carsley, Agustien and the untried Mutch as the only fit central midfielders currently on the books, there was a need for McLeish to bring in reinforcements. As a result, McLeish looked into the possibility of taking Kevin-Prince Boateng on a season-long-loan from Tottenham Hotspur, but they were unsuccessful as Spurs only preferred to sell the German.
Even though it may be true that Blues still have Larsson as cover, and Damien Johnson and Mehdi Nafti to return, Blues still seem to be lacking that class in midfield to break a defence open. It was believed that Agustein would provide said class, but it`s going to be a while yet before he is up to speed with the pace of the Championship.
All of this has left McLeish in a dilemma. He either decides to delve into the loan market in the search of the perfect young and upcoming star to complement the team, or he decides to stick to what he`s got, wait for the return from injury of Nafti and Johnson for midfield cover, and hope that if need be, Krystian Pearce could cope with the demands of Championship football (if recalled from his loan).
While all this has happened, Sone Aluko has slipped out of the back door to Aberdeen for a nominal fee. £50,000 for a player who was meant to be one of the bright young stars to come out of our academy? What happened to this being the year of his breakthrough into the first XI? It seems that these questions will remain unanswered, but all that we can do is hope that McLeish has made the right decision in letting the young star go.
Another transfer window slammed shut, and the Blues march on. Maybe Blues have shot themselves in the foot by not signing new players. Maybe McLeish has a trick or two up his sleeve. Maybe…
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