Birmingham City have completed one of the deals of the day in the Championship as they have signed Jota from Brentford. The official site confirms that they have broken their club-record fee to bring him to the Midlands on a four-year deal. The Spaniard had been linked to Premier League this summer, while the Bees had rejected offers from Middlesbrough and Hull City. It is seen as a huge coup for the Blues to land him.
Harry Redknapp was delighted with the transfer and the following quotes were reported by the Evening Standard:
“There will not be many better players in the Championship than him, that is for sure. He has got great ability. We are very pleased to have got that one done.”
The Blues manager has always pulled out big deadline day deals throughout his career, but this could be one of his finest. He isn’t wrong when he says that the Spaniard is one of the best players in the division and he will provide the spark that their attack has been lacking during the opening weeks of the season.
Last season, he was excellent during the second half of the season, contributing 12 goals and five assists. Brentford had one of the better attacks after his return and Birmingham will be hoping that he can have a similar impact on their front-line.
Jota is an intelligent player, who takes up good positions in the final third and is capable of producing end product on a consistent basis. It is rare to have a player like him in the Championship and the Blues will have to be seen as one of the favourites for promotion now.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) August 31, 2017
Going to Birmingham is such a sideways move for Jota. Really odd.
— harryfre (@HarryFremantle) August 31, 2017
— BrummieJoe (@BrummieJoeHD) August 30, 2017
— H. (@KingKieft) August 31, 2017
Jota's 2016-17 record:
— Goodbrand Stats (@StatsChristian) August 31, 2017
Birmingham fans were pleased with the news:
Never thought we would sign a player like him only a couple of weeks ago Prem clubs were after him #JOTA .KRO
— BigGray. (@GrahamRich17) August 31, 2017
Jota, incredible signing, one of the best in this League #bcfc
— Olly Howarth (@BCFC_Olly_KRO) August 31, 2017
— Conner (@ConnerBcfc02) August 31, 2017
Brentford fans were disappointed, but couldn’t see why he wanted to move to Birmingham:
Sold Dean, Jota, Onariase and selling Colin all within 48 hours of the window shutting. Well done #Brentford you've outdone yourselves???
— ?arry? (@HHman94) August 31, 2017
Jota taking backwards steps going to Birmingham. Much like everytime he got the ball on the wing this season #brentford
— Rob D (@bagmanbobby) August 31, 2017
Garry Monk should reunite with Rob Green at Birmingham City
Birmingham City are set to let David Stockdale leave the club.
Huddersfield Town have announced their retained list for the summer and veteran goalkeeper Rob Green will now be hunting for a new club. The Terriers have not renewed his one-year deal at the club and the 12-cap England international will now be hunting for a new club this summer.
Green joined Huddersfield on a free transfer after a shock release by West Yorkshire rivals Leeds United last summer, who decided to replace him with German goalie Felix Wiedwald. That proved to be a move which certainly backfired.
But he played second fiddle to Danish international goalie Jonas Lossl and is now on his way. He did not feature in a single game for the club, spending the entire season as a substitute at the John Smith’s Stadium.
So where does he go next?
One potential option would be a return to working with Garry Monk, currently the manager at Birmingham City.
Green was the number one for Monk at Leeds in 2016-17. Had the manager remained at Elland Road, it is highly likely that Green would have done the same and played out this season as the Whites number one again.
But with Monk gone Green needed to find somewhere else to play his football and now the pair have a chance to reunite again.
It also appears that Birmingham are going to be in need of a new goalkeeper. The Yorkshire Evening Post suggest this weekend that Monk wants to move on David Stockdale, with his hometown club and Monk’s former club Leeds keen.
If Stockdale is exiting, Birmingham need a safe pair of hands between the net. Despite his advancing years, Green proved at Leeds he still has plenty to give at the Championship level and with Monk needing a new ‘keeper he can rely on the 38-year-old would be a no-brainer for Birmingham City.
Leeds must take advantage of Garry Monk’s misstep and snap up David Stockdale
The experienced shot-stopper would be a useful addition at Elland Road.
Rarely is a goalkeeper who was previously named in the Championship Team of the Year told he is surplus to requirements, but this fate appears to have befallen Birmingham City’s David Stockdale.
Leeds United must act quickly and sign Stockdale from Birmingham, reuniting the former Premier League goalie with his favourite club.
Stockdale starred for Brighton and Hove Albion in the 2016/17 Championship campaign, steering the Seagulls to automatic promotion while being named in the PFA Team of the Year.
When the Englishman signed for Birmingham the following summer, many lauded the move as one of the coups of the transfer window.
Yet, Stockdale endured a turbulent year at St Andrew’s as the club went through three managers and narrowly avoided relegation.
Nonetheless, it came as a surprise when the Birmingham Mail reported that manager Garry Monk would allow the 32-year-old keeper to leave this summer.
Stockdale enjoyed a strong end to the season as the Blues won five out of their last nine to stay up, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
Given his strong Championship pedigree and impressive recent form, it seems odd that Monk would allow Stockdale to depart this summer.
However, Birmingham’s loss could turn into Leeds’ gain, as the Yorkshire club would do well to acquire the Leeds-born shot-stopper.
The goalkeeper grew up in the city and is a Leeds supporter, and even had a trial with the club when he was 12.
Stockdale failed the trial back then but has a superb chance to move to Elland Road and deputise for his beloved childhood club.
The goalkeeper has been a problem position all year for Leeds.
According to Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post, summer signing Felix Wiedwald has “struggled to adapt” to the Championship, while Bailey Peacock-Farrell is relatively inexperienced at only 21 years of age.
The signing of David Stockdale would benefit all parties involved, reuniting the goalkeeper with his boyhood club and solving the positional dilemma at Elland Road.
Leeds United can’t afford to lose Pablo Hernandez to Championship rivals
Rumours are circulating that Leeds United could face a battle to retain midfielder Pablo Hernandez as interest hots up in his services, with his contract at Elland Road set to expire in the summer.
Birmingham City are believed to be one of the club’s monitoring the situation, with former club Gary Monk keen to reunite with the Spaniard, say Birmingham Live.
The news comes following Paul Heckingbottom’s quotes on his future as he told Leeds Live, “I’ve had chats with Pablo in terms of football, him himself, us as a club and everything was positive.”
“Pablo’s driven by football rather than money and things like that, he’s driven by his heart. He likes it here, his family’s settled here. So things like that are positive, always.
“But there could be other people turning his head, speaking in those terms with him, trying to capture his heart at other clubs and that’s the position we find ourselves in because of his contract situation.
“So we’ll try as hard as we can. He knows where I stand on it and that’s it, that’s all we can do.”
Granted, at 33 years of age he may not be the most profitable player for the club to return with any resale value likely to be very low, but for Leeds he has been a pivotal player this season.
Only Kemar Roofe and Pierre-Michel Lasogga have scored more goals this term, with Hernandez’s tally on nine, and no player has been involved in more goals when you take assists into account.
His creativity has been crucial, even as the team have struggled under Heckingbottom, and he is clearly a key piece of the puzzle as the club consider how to improve next season.
Hernandez may not be the man to build a team around long-term, but he does possess the kind of quality that cannot be lost, nor easily or cheaply replaced, with a rebuilding project looking inevitable this summer.