Often Partisan

Do Blues Need To Sign Anyone?

Birmingham City were today linked with Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw along with four other clubs in today’s Daily Mail. The 23-year-old who has been called up to the Wales squad for the first time in this international break is on fire in League One, having scored nine times in 20 games this season for the Saddlers.

As dispiriting as this is to some, this is one rumour I just cannot believe for one simple reason – there is no way I can see Blues can afford Bradshaw. With a year plus left on his contract he will command a fee should a team come in for him in the January window and while I am sure there is money in the pot for Blues I do not believe there will be enough to tempt the young hotshot the short distance to B9.

It’s weird – maybe I’ve been brainwashed into accepting it but I’ve come around a lot to the “small and tight” squad theory in the last few weeks. One of my chief concerns with this kind of squad is the large proportion of managers who just won’t bring through young players because they consider it too great a risk – before Lee Clark (who had to do it a lot through necessity) we saw it happen frequently at Blues.

It might be that Blues have a vastly superior development squad these days – but I also think that the more exposure younger players get to playing at the top level, the more chance they have of actually achieving it. Dimmy Gray for me is a case in point – I think he has improved much more than many of us anticipated since he broke into the first team and now he’s the club’s most valuable player.

Viv Solomon-Otabor has only had seven cameo appearances for the club but there is definitely something there – and the chance to at least be involved from the bench has given him a chance to show what he can do and excel. If Reece Brown can continue to impress Gary Rowett enough to sit on the bench and push himself into the team, then the club could have another huge asset in the squad in the coming months.

The two chief positions where I think we need cover – centre-back and striker – have very differing depths to them. Friends of mine who saw him in pre-season told me that Wes Harding looked a real prospect at the training camp in Spain while summer signing Emmanuel Mbende is evidently doing his bit to impress with Gary Rowett mentioning that he was coming on well in his interview with Tom Ross last week.

Up front the prospects are a bit more raw – and there is a bit of a bottleneck as we have seen with Nicolai Brock-Madsen struggling to make an impact since he was signed from Randers. With Wes Thomas out on loan – and potentially unhappy to come back to being a bit part player at St Andrews, I hope Alex Jones can make the most of his spell at Grimsby to come back as a player ready for the bench.

If we do bring in someone – particularly at centre forward – are their parent club going to be happy with them taking a place on the bench? I can’t see Clayton Donaldson – due to make his starting debut for Jamaica tonight as a lone striker – being dropped short of a bad injury (God forbid) and I’d rather we developed our own players like Brock-Madsen than gave minutes to a Premier League youngster we’re never going to sign.

Of course, injuries will change the complexion of the situation entirely – but I’m starting to understand why Gary Rowett might be reluctant to dip into the market right now. I hope he continues to prove himself right.

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47 Responses to “Do Blues Need To Sign Anyone?”

  • Blues fan says:

    It’s crazy not to sign new players it keeps the rest of the team on their toes but their is no chance of blues signing the striker from Walsall because we have no money to spend so it will have to be more loans.

  • james kinsella says:

    We need pace up front sometimes at home especially we need to get behind the back four open them up a but. But I’m over the moon where we are pushing for play offs with the squad we have Is a great achievement but we do need a plan b sometimes and maybe we should look at demmy Johnston a bit more would hate to see the Adam Rooney situation not give him a chance and then he goes on to be a success.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’ve felt right from the summer that we need another centre back and I’ve not changed my mind on that. Spector or Robinson are fine in certain games, but when we’re under aerial pressure, which could be a fair bit of the time, it’s only a matter of time before we buckle.. i.e. Fulham weren’t in the game until Matt Smith came on. We need the option of a commanding centre back to play alongside Morrison. Whether that’s Mbende, I’ve no idea. Only Mr Rowett will know that.

    Yes, I’d love another striker, one who is different to what we already have, but, if he’s not going to get a sniff, then what’s the point? We might as well stick with Brock-Madsen on the bench. I can’t remember when the loan window closes, but the main transfer window is only about 6 weeks away. Can we not wait until then and see what’s available?

  • Tony E says:

    Bradshaw looks a prospect, but sadly our chances of finding the money to push through a transfer are remote. I would like another forward available who could provide different options, but in truth my main priority would be for a tall, left sided central defender.

  • KC says:

    Great summary StaffsBlue. Agree totally on the C/B and be brilliant to see another type of striker but how would they fit in to the system- possibly when we need to go to plan B at home- if there.s anyone decent out there who would be happy in that situation. I’m also hoping Brown can come through to add that bit of creativity when needed as part of plan B.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Jeez how bad can things get “we can’t afford a league 1 player” we really do need to question TTA and E&Y harder as this is getting beyond a joke,no doubt when this current crop run out of steam by the end of the season and results drop off then will we start to question things Dan,it’s only as results are good that this is going under the radar I wish a few people in Hong Kong would start pulling there socks up and stop letting pannu and yeung give everybody over there the runaround…

    • StaffsBlue says:

      This is the worry, that the team can’t sustain the pressure for the whole season. It’s a bloomin’ tough ask for such a small squad.

    • chris says:

      Why expect someone else to subsidise transfers, that is what is wrong with the game.
      What happens if BIHL or TTA put in a couple of million this season and promotion is missed, then next season they may say we want that money back now so next season’s budget is cut even more to recoup this season’s spending.
      Then we are back where we were four years ago.
      Due to prem greed league fans are deluded into thinking clubs / owners should just throw money at it and probably lose that money.
      We see this mentality at all our local clubs but i don’t see fans offering an extra £1000 each for a transfer kitty but expect owners and clubs to take on more debt.

    • almajir says:


      I wish life was as simple as you make it out to be.

  • Texas Pete says:

    I see GR just gave Shane Lowry a boost saying he is ready for a game. This may be to silence the gossip for Lowry’s sake. It is great to hear everyone talking about the young prospects being ready to make the first team in a variety of positions. Much better than screaming about buying in new players. I am really looking forward to seeing the other young CB who on arriving at training kicked everyone up in the air according to GR. That may be some way off though.

  • Mitchell says:

    Do we need new players? As of today on the back of a 5-2 win- then the majority of fans don’t see it as a priority. However should we make a complete mess of Charlton game- then we will all be clamouring for new faces. That’s how it goes. In the meantime I still feel a couple will arrive before Friday. Lastly it is still a warm feeling to be a bluenose these days compared to our daily nightmares of not so long ago.

  • ChrisG says:

    If we carry on our form into january & things are looking good, i’d say no, if & it’s a big if we do get promoted we will need new players in the summer, any players we bring in in jan would have to be able to make the step up. Even so I still think we have enough decent players if you include some of the fringe players to get us through to the end of the season.
    If we were to bring anyone in I think it should be a loan to the end of the season & if they’re any good & a permanent deal can be done then sort it in the summer.

  • Blues need to win more at home , and as Brian Clough used to say ,the time to sign players is when you are on a good run .kro

  • Waycoolblue says:

    Tom Bradshaw is a quality player and if we could get him the we should go and get it dune.
    this may be wrong but I was told by my sisters husbanded who is a Walsall’ supporter there is a clause for offers from clubs in a higher leagues. So maybe blues can get him.

    And yes we should bring in more players its a long long season and we will need players that can go striate in to the first team.

    • chris says:

      where does the money come from?

      • Waycoolblue says:

        We don’t need to spend a lot and I believe GR when he said we do have money to spend if needed.
        And he did say that in his interview with Tom ross. I think a deal for a player like Bradshaw can be dune at a similar amount as dune with Brooke-Madison. It is a possibility. Yes Swindon had their offer of £500k rejected but Swindon are not in a higher league. And I think we need a striker that is different to Donaldson and Brooke-Madison to work in a winning plan B system.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    A striker has to be our main priority for me.Lowry hasn’t even had his chance to stake a claim yet and I reckon Grounds could do a job there if pushed.Yes in an ideal world we need it strengthening but surely we need back up for Donaldson up top.He gets injured and we’re up shit creek with nothing to fall back on.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’ve been thinking about it all evening and I think that maybe we can wait the 6 weeks or so until the main transfer window opens and see how we’re fixed then. Also, there might be more players to choose from, including those in the last 6 months of their contracts. Why waste our money now?

    • Southern Blue says:

      I see Donaldson scored the only goal of the game for Jamaica v Haiti – looks like he will become a regular in the Jamaica squad for a while, just emphasing the importance of us having some back up.

    • chris says:

      i believe that is what GR is doing, saving money each week, then come Jan or the post Jan loan window, if needed or if we are still in a strong league position he will then sign one or two.
      We are below half way in the league on spending for a reason.
      We don’t have a rich owner, we don’t have large attendances so we have to break even each year.
      If we had 25000 each game there would be an extra £3 million in the coffers available for better wages or transfers, but until then GR has to save up each week for a rainy day and he’s spot on in what he is doing.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    We need a experienced specialist centre half and a pacy striker who can play off Donaldson or B-M

    • swissjonny says:

      Totaly agree Julian.Southern Blue your point is extremly valid if Clayton statts more games for Jamaica-which I am delighted about for him-then the chances of him picking up an injury are clearly greater.We need to act soon.The new players need to bed in and absorb the Rowett culture before they are chucked into the first team with the daunting task ansd associated pressures of having to put in match winning performances.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Congratulations to Clayton Donaldson who scored the winning goal for Jamaica in beating Haiti

  • Dave Mann says:

    Chuffed for Donsldson but let’s hope he gets back safe and sound and injury free ….wait till January I say , don’t need players in at the moment , we’ve got good players warming the bench . Kro

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Whilst It seems Bradshaw is a decent prospect, I’m not sure that he will be on King Gary’s radar?

    As stated, Bradshaw will cost a fee (which we may not be able to afford in any event) but he is not an obvious replacement for Donaldo; nor, from what I’ve seen in highlights, would he fit into the style of play GR seems to prefer. Surely that would mean he will only be a bench player and it seems unlikely that GR will spend limited resources on a bench player at this moment in time.

    Echoing the comments above, I’d much prefer we spent on a decent CH (preferably a left footer), if we could get one with a bit of pace even better. I suspect that us getting one with both qualities is less likely than me getting a date with Monica Bellucci! But I can dream, can’t I…?

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The one thing I draw from Rowett’s interviews, is that he plays this system to suit the players we have. So, by the same token, we could slowly change our system by bringing in players with the requisite skills to affect those changes. Obviously it won’t change overnight, but gradually, I see no reason why it can’t be done, even on our budget.

  • Macca21 says:

    Not sure Bradshaw is good enough watched him at Shrewsbury he looked totally out of sorts there and has a bit of a brick wall touch. Punching above his weight at Walsall

  • Dave Mann says:

    Our manager said they’ve been working on plan B for the last week or so in training to try and break teams down at home … Saturday’s test will show us how good our manager really is . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      The best way to break any team down, is to get behind them. Cue Gray, Toral, Maghoma and Solomon-Otabor.

      • swissjonny says:

        Agreed Staffs.Saw a very amusing Saturday morning football show with Vinny Jones and Dave Beasant,They were plugging the crazy gang book but also discussed the way that they played.The ex manager was defending his tactics and saying that the key wasnt the long ball route one stuff but getting behind defenders and into that space which makes them very uncomfortable.He went on to say that this was particularly relevant during their promotion runs.At championship level we probably do have the players to get behind and cause chaos.Equally if someone could do this to us I would hate to see the results! Do I mean Dave Beasant or was he the goalkeeper? Anyway you know who I mean!

  • swissjonny says:

    Thanks Staffs!! Brain not what it was!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I always thought that Wimbledon were a decent team. They certainly made some of the bigger teams look proper mugs. They won the FA Cup and finished 6th in the top flight, so they couldn’t have been that bad.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I will settle for winning the FA cup and finishing 6th in the championship !!! … Seriously though they were a good together every man battles sort of team , a bit like Gary’s building at the moment one thinks. Kro

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    This promotion or playoff charge is very optimistic. We know our home form isn’t good enough and away from home we have much harder group of fixtures than before so we just can’t assume that form will continue

    I can imagine TTA funding a automatic promotion push, but just to get in the playoff’s does not guarantee a payback

  • Dave Mann says:

    Julian, your right that we can’t assume that our form will continue but then again we can’t assume it won’t neither .. I would rather stay optimistic than pesemistic and get the home form going like we need to and the playoffs are a certainty … Win Saturday and win well at home then even you can feel a bit more optemistic . :-) kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Steve Clarke set to be appointed new manager of Fulham. That should kill off the daft Rowett to Fulham rumours. :)

  • Dave Mann says:

    Don’t want to worry you mate but he’s turned it down .. Surely not!! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    Couldn’t agree more staffs, if Clark turns down Fulham for Reading then common sense says you turn down Fulham to stay at Birmingham , even neutrals should understand that even in our predicament . Kro

  • Mitchell says:

    We cannot get the jitters every time a Championship manager goes. It will happen soon at the likes of Bolton, Forest and possibly Wolves. Enjoy our current stress free from relegation mode- and hope for a real bonus which could just happen.

  • Dave Mann says:

    And with us on the up now Mitchell and standing 6th and looking at a brighter future on and off the pitch I think our manager would not leave us for another championship team so we’re stay calm on that one and even if a struggling premiership team came calling would he go ?? . If so t it would purely be the money .. I hope Mr Rowett is a loyal and honourable man but Family comes first .. he will be with us next season no matter what happens this season in my honest opinion . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I believe that, in this period of his management career, getting Blues back to where they were would be very high on his agenda. I’d be surprised if he left before finishing the job. He’s only 40… plenty of time to take over a premier club.

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