It’s no secret that Birmingham City are lacking the firepower needed in order for them to push on and really mount a Championship play-off charge. Two consecutive 10th place finishes under Gary Rowett have given the club something to build on, but now is the time for them to make their move and find that man who can help fire them to promotion.
Rowett has clearly stated that signing a striker is going to be his priority this summer and already we have seen various names linked with the Midlands club. Danny Graham, Tony Watt, Tom Bradshaw, Bobby Zamora and Mirco Antenucci have all been mentioned in recent weeks but who could be the man for Blues?
What must not be forgotten is the job Clayton Donaldson is doing week in, week out as a lone front man. 27 league goals over the past two seasons isn’t a bad record but someone more clinical and more natural in front of goal is still needed. If Birmingham can get someone in to work alongside Donaldson and chip in with another 12-15 of his own goals, then it would make a huge difference.
They already have players in Jacques Maghoma and David Cotterill who can both score and create goals from the wide positions, so someone who can eat up even more of their opportunities created will only be of benefit.
For me, if Rowett is to bring someone in then he must be able to play alongside Donaldson but also take the pressure off him when needed. The Jamaican forward is 32-years-old so may start to pick up more injuries and begin to miss a few more games. Someone is needed who can step in, do the same job as him, but also score goals. James Vaughan and Nicolai Brock Madsen haven’t yet shown that they can be the ones capable of easing the pressure off Donaldson so you can understand Rowett’s need for a striker.
Bringing someone like Bobby Zamora in would be a waste in my opinion as the team would benefit from someone more youthful who can be at the club for at least a few years. Tom Bradshaw would be a perfect example of someone like this. He has proved over the past couple of seasons at Walsall that he can score goals in League One. Now could be the time for the 23-year-old to make the leap and ply his trade in the Championship. He plays as a lone striker for the Saddlers so would fit into Birmingham’s set-up with no trouble. His intelligent runs and impressive strike rate in front of goal would also suggest that he could play off Donaldson in a two. Walsall may also be willing to sell him due to their failure to gain promotion as well as the fact that Bradshaw is out of contract in one year so a deal for the Welshman could be realistic.
The likes of Antenucci, Graham and Zamora will most likely carry a hefty wage on their backs and so, whilst they could do a job for a year or so, an investment may not be so beneficial in the long term. Birmingham aren’t a club who can go out and spend millions of pounds on someone to get instant success so Rowett must take a sensible view when reviewing who to potentially bring in over the summer.
Last seasons play-off push was in full flow up until around February when the wheels began to fall off. Scoring goals was a clear problem as the club went on a run of just five goals in ten games between the end of January and the start of April which effectively killed their promotion hopes. With the signing of a clinical, goalscoring striker to add to their hardworking squad, Birmingham and Gary Rowett could be seriously in with a chance of a successful campaign with promotion a realistic target.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Dan Westwell.