Thursday, 1 September 2011

Deadline Day: Ins and Outs

As the transfer window slammed shut at eleven o’clock last night Birmingham City were left to assess the damage after the player exodus continued; with Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome making their way through the exit door. Nevertheless, it could have been worse. Only two went out and two – plus an 18 year old – came into St. Andrews on deadline day, with both departures very much expected ones.

Since relegation former England U21 player Scott Dann has attracted attention from Liverpool, Arsenal and even Chelsea no less. But his deadline day move to Blackburn Rovers raised a few eyebrows, seeing as they are one of the favourites to suffer relegation from the Premier League this season. After his move to Stoke City earlier on in the transfer window fell through – whether that was due to Blues being too stubborn or reported high wage demands we don’t know – but Blackburn came in and Blues seemed to be happy to sell the player for a reported fee of £7.7 million, and Dann himself seemed to welcome a move back to the Premier League. All the best to the young defender who has a big future ahead of him; it was a shame for him to get injured when he did but I wish him the best of luck in the future: a great lad on and off the pitch who deserves success. Always believe in…

The next deadline day mover was striker Cameron Jerome, who has more than divided opinion amongst the Birmingham fans since his arrival in 2006. After seeing the club through two promotions, two relegations and a Carling Cup win, as well as being part of the invincible team of 2009/10, the Huddersfield-born forward has seen it all, and before his departure yesterday he was one of the longest serving players in the current squad. Although not blessed with goal-scoring ability – ironic seeing as he plies his trade as a striker – you can’t fault his work rate, and that goal at Anfield will never be forgotten, nor is it likely to be repeated by Jerome! With Stoke City his new employers – a club on the up I must add – I wish Jerome luck there, though he’ll have to work hard to become first choice striker, especially with the addition of Peter Crouch to Pulis’ ranks also.

Despite late interest from Newcastle United regarding Liam Ridgewell, who had a transfer request rejected by Blues yesterday, Dann and Jerome were the only two movers on deadline day, so it really could have been worse for Chris Hughton and his management team, who already have the mammoth task of bringing in reinforcements for a tough Championship and Europa League campaign. And that brings me to the players coming into Blues yesterday.

The first deadline day addition came in the form of Jack Deaman; an 18-year-old who signed a one-year professional contract with the club, and a clear ‘one for the future’ singing by Hughton. A highly rated centre half, Deaman was realised by Welsh side Wrexham and after a successful trial period at the club was snapped up by Hughton and his management team.

After securing the loan signing of midfielder Guirane N’Daw early last week it looked like that would be the last summer signing, of note, to be made by Hughton. But late on last night the services of first Wade Elliott and then Pablo Ibanez were also secured.

Elliott, scorer of the magnificent goal which took Burnely into the top flight signed a two year deal late last night; much to the dismay and disappointment of Burnley fans who rate him highly. The midfielder spent the last six years at Turf Moor making 280 appearances, and the 32 year old adds a wealth of Championship experience to Hughton’s side.

A late move for Pablo Ibanez saw him leave near neighbours West Bromwich Albion to join Blues on a two year deal. The centre half came through the door just as Scott Dann left, and is an appropriate replacement for the much-loved Scouser. Ibanez, a Spanish International, was signed by West Brom from Atletico Madrid and so has Europa League experience – as well as Champions League appearances under his belt – and will prove a good squad player for Hughton to utilize with so many games to play already this season.

After a transfer window of players coming in on frees, spending money – although ‘undisclosed' so we don't yet know how much was spent – is a welcome change for the fans of Birmingham City, who hope to see their manager secure some loan signings in the next week or two to bolster the squad further.

The two outgoing players were expected, and after all we could have lost Ridgewell, Jean Beausejour – who was linked with a move to Wigan Athletic – or even worse Stephen Carr. So like I said: it could have been worse.

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