Often Partisan

Trials and Tribulations

Birmingham City have taken former Dutch international Dwight Tiendalli as they ratchet up their pre-season training in Marbella. The full-back was released by mutual consent from Swansea on September 1 last year and hasn’t played a professional game since turning out for Middlesbrough on loan in the Championship against Brighton in May 2015.

The Surinamese-born defender has linked up with Blues while they go through their pre-season training camp in Marbella to allow Gary Rowett to take a closer look at him. A right-back by trade, Tiendalli can also play left-back and it’s that kind of versatility that I think would make him appeal to Rowett who is short in defence.

However, I think a lot of people have read too much into this as a potential transfer; as I understand it trials are a bit of a “free hit” and as such don’t impact on players we are already looking at; it’s just a chance to take a look at a player who might improve the team for very little outlay. We’ve had some success with trialists – Stephen Carr comes to mind – but in the main trials very rarely go any further.

I believe Blues are very much still in the market for a left-back to come in and even if Tiendalli was signed I doubt that would change. Blues are very short of true left-sided players and while Tiendalli can play at left-back I think Rowett would prefer to bring one in who is predominately left-footed.

According to French football site foot-sur7, Blues have also taken on trial 19-year-old Bordeaux keeper Simon Lefebvre. The young Frenchman, who stands an impressive 6’8 tall was third keeper at Les Girondins last season and is looking to win his first professional contract. I would suspect if he is on trial then he will be with the u-21 group in Austria.

No doubt Blues will trial other players this summer; while some of them will no doubt be more interesting than others I think it’s worth remembering just how few trialists ever get taken on before wondering if they are there to replace potential first team purchases.

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