Often Partisan

Thorpe Returns

Birmingham City swooped to sign Tom Thorpe again on loan from Manchester United before the loan deadline passed yesterday. Thorpe originally signed for Blues on loan back at the end of January but injury curtailed his debut after just fourteen minutes.

There had been rumours doing the rounds on messageboards – particularly SHA – that Blues would be in the market for another centre back; although people incorrectly guessed on SHA the incoming player would be Birmingham born-Sean St Ledger. With Packwood struggling with a hamstring knock and Robbo being two cards off a three match ban Blues were looking a bit thin on the centre back front and that was compounded by Nathaniel Kelly missing Wednesday’s u21 game through injury – a game James Fry finished hobbling.

Thorpe’s return bring the Manchester United contingent at Blues back up to three and the number of loan players back up to eight – which only goes to underline the continuing financial constraints that Blues are under. Blues have had to manipulate the loan system as much as they can to ensure that they have enough quality in the squad to remain competitive in the Championship – with varying results throughout the season.

I think if Blues had been in a better position in the league then it’s possible that Clark would have turned to his academy again – Clark has shown faith in the youngsters before and because of that we’ve seen a number of players make their debuts and in some cases become regular players. It’s an awful lot of pressure to bring younger players into the team when we’re fighting a relegation scrap and while there is some undoubted talent within the ranks I wonder if there is enough mental strength to not fold in a crunch game.

For Thorpe it represents a second opportunity to make first team starts; his professional career at the present is the fourteen minutes of his first game against Derby County on February 1. He won’t be involved tomorrow against Bournemouth as although he has recovered from the ankle knock he sustained in his previous loan stint he is now recovering from a bout of tonsilitis.


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