Room for improvement at St Andrews.
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Birmingham City are suffering from a bit of a second season syndrome in the top flight – they are near the relegation zone this season after finishing 9th in their last campaign.
Manager Alex McLeish has his eye on a few names to help his team climb the table, and after signing David Bentley on loan is concentrating on strengthening other areas of his team.
1. Kenny Miller
Alex McLeish knows Kenny Miller well as a player, having seen the player score an insane amount of goals in the Scottish Premier League. Whether he can score regularly in its English counterpart remains to be seen though.
He was profligate for both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Derby County when representing each team in the top flight, though he did score goals at a lower level for Wolves. McLeish seems confident though that he is up to the job now, and looks set to make an offer.
2. Charlie Adam
Birmingham aren’t renowned for playing the best of football, but with Charlie Adam in their starting XI they soon would be. The Blackpool captain frequently dictates possession from central midfield and is a key reason the Tangerines currently sit in the top half of the table.
Having Adam in their side would certainly bring creativity to the Birmingham spine, and more attractive football would also help to bring in the fans. 22,287 watched the derby against Aston Villa at St Andrews – a far cry from its capacity of 30,079 for one of the club’s biggest games of the season.
Still, McLeish has much work to do to convince Blackpool to part with their talisman.
3. Jay Bothroyd
Jay Bothroyd has had an excellent season so far for Cardiff City, but the Welsh capital side are unlikely to want to sell such a prolific forward.
Bothroyd’s form secured him a first England cap under Fabio Capello last year, and now he is a wanted man with Newcastle also interested in his services.
Their financial troubles have been well documented though, and if Bothroyd has further ambition of playing for England, perhaps he will seek a Premier League.
4. David Trezeguet
Birmingham’s goalscoring woes up front are well documented. No striker has scored in their last nine league games – a disastrous record in anyone’s book.
Trezeguet may no longer be one of the most feared strikers in Europe but he is playing mightily impressively for Hercules in La Liga. He has scored nine league goals in 16 appearances, and can clearly still find the net at the highest level.
With Hercules also suffering from a lack of funds – and indeed unable to pay their players – their most valuable assets are up for grabs.
5. Eidur Gudjohnsen
Birmingham score a high proportion of their goals from set pieces, with their defenders frequently popping up in the box to hit the back of the net. They miss guile up front, which Stoke benchwarmer Eidur Gudjohnsen has in spades.
The former Barcelona man has proven Premier League quality from his time at Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea and (less so) Tottenham Hotspur, and if he can play anywhere close to his full ability, he could be a fine player for Birmingham City – and one that is likely available on a free.
5. Nathaniel Clyne
Crystal Palace right back Nathaniel Clyne may be a player for the future, but with the current holder of the role at Birmingham Steven Carr approaching his 35th birthday in the summer, Clyne could soon make the place his own.
This time last year the 19 year-old Clyne rejected a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but with another year of first team football under his belt he may now feel it is time to move on – especially given Crystal Palace look likely relegation candidates from the nPower Championship.
6. Wes Brown
If Clyne is not deemed ready for the Premier League, Wes Brown certainly has the experience.
The 31 year-old Manchester United veteran has won five Premier League titles with the Red Devils, but with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans ahead of him in the pecking order for central defence, and Rafael and Gary Neville at right back, Brown is now surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
A £2m move elsewhere in the Premier League would be a last hurrah.
7. Daniel Larsson
Birmingham agreed to sell Sebastian Larsson to Newcastle United earlier this month, but the deal fell through. Nevertheless, with the Sweden midfielder’s contract up at the end of the season, he is still very much up for sale.
People with Larsson on the backs of their shirts would then be reluctant to wear them, but Alex McLeish could appease them with a move for Malmo FF forward Daniel Larsson.
23 years of age, (Daniel) Larsson has scored 21 goals in 56 appearances for his club, and has plenty of potential to improve. Small at 5’9″, Larsson is nonetheless extremely speedy across the ground and possesses quick feet in possession. He would certainly add a spark to a misfiring Birmingham line-up.
8. Pablo Mouche
Pablo Mouche is a striker similar in build to Daniel Larsson, but for Boca Juniors in Argentina.
His agent has confirmed interest from the Blues, and his friendship with Carlos Tevez has strengthened their case with regard to signing the player – possibly on loan at first, with a permanent signing later down the line.
9. Paddy McCourt
Celtic star Paddy McCourt can score the most spectacular of goals, darting in between players at will and finishing beautifully.
His trouble is that he seems almost incapable of managing a tap in, but if Alex McCleish could turn the brilliant into the consistent then Birmingham might have a real gem on their hands.
10. Robbie Keane
Of course, Birmingham made it publicly known that their interest in Robbie Keane had ended after failing to agree terms with the player – despite having a £6m offer accepted by Tottenham.
With Keane struggling for playing time at White Hart Lane though, perhaps as the end of the January transfer window approaches he will lower his demands and Birmingham will revive their interest.
You can never rule anything out in the January transfer window.
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