Birmingham City have done some impressive business this summer, but this could be the best St Andrews’ signing yet.
Birmingham had one of the best defences in the Barclays Premier League last season – especially at St. Andrews. Alex McLeish deserved all the praise he earned for his purchase of Championship defenders Roger Johnson and Scott Dann – as well as luring Stephen Carr out of retirement.
To mould these three players and Liam Ridgewell into a defence that conceded just six more goals than Arsenal and Tottenham last season, and only two more than Manchester City was a fantastic achievement, and Birmingham did not struggle to adapt to the top flight.
Still, as well as he performed last season, Ridgewell is not primarily a full back, and has played most of his matches at senior level as a centre half.
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has indicated that the central defence pairing will now be fought between Johnson, Dann and Ridgewell, and will look to bring in a World Cup winner to bring experience to the side.
Fabio Grosso is currently out of favour at Juventus, and McLeish believes a loan deal could be made for a season – the only sticking point being Grosso’s wages. He is believed to be on over £30,000 per week, but Birmingham hope they can compromise on a partial payment to get him off the Turin side’s books.
Grosso scored the winning spot kick in the 2006 World Cup Final penalty shootout between Italy and France, as well as the winning goal in extra time in the semi-final. He has won the Serie A title with Inter Milan, as well as the Ligue 1 championship with Lyon.
Furthermore, he can play as a left winger, and offers a left-footed alternative to Sebastian Larsson for free kicks.