Birmingham City are winless in their last four matches and have gradually slid to 18th place despite enjoying an impressive start to the season.
The Blues’ squad is looking concerningly threadbare at the moment, Lee Bowyer has relied on players to step up from U23 football in the last few months and will be hoping the club can manipulate the January transfer window in their favour.
The Blues have a comfortable eight point cushion on the relegation zone and therefore are not in a position to panic, with an ageing squad it would be advisable for them to pursue players with a longer term view this month.
Here, we have taken a look at two players who may be eyeing an exit from the club this month…
Both the players in the list are on contracts that expire at the end of the season, meaning that if new deal negotiations are not underway they will certainly be considering where they could be playing next term away from St Andrew’s. The first is talented winger Jeremie Bela, who due to Bowyer’s stubborn deployment of a three at the back formation, has been forced to play in an unfamiliar wing back role this season.
The 28-year-old is a box office watch on his day and registered nine goal contributions in each of the last two seasons. Looking at the state of the squad, reducing the average age should be a priority which may halt negotiations with Bela who has struggled to hit the heights of recent years.
Interest in the player would likely be entertained this month.
Quiz: Can you name which club Birmingham City signed these 20 strikers from?
Another player who has arguably not matched the standards they have set in previous seasons, the contract situation could point to why that is the case, is versatile left sider Kristian Pedersen. The Dane has been a great servant for Birmingham and is approaching 150 appearances for the club, but as a player with the potential to play for a club higher up in the second tier, with his contract running down there are plenty of motives for Pedersen to be considering his options.
With the purse strings tightened in the post-pandemic EFL transfer market, free agents have become a more attractive commodity, with the likes of Adam Reach earning a move to West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 2021, after his deal expired at Sheffield Wednesday. Pedersen could take a similar approach and though he is a key player at Birmingham, at 27 it might be the right time to try and push on elsewhere in his career.
If that destination shows interest in January then they may well be able to lure Pedersen away from St Andrew’s for a small fee.