After an exciting start to the 2021-22 season, Birmingham City are in the midst of a worrying slump in form having won none of their last five fixtures.
Four of those have been defeats and Lee Bowyer’s experienced charges are doing themselves no favours on the pitch, so after the international break there could be chances for other players.
As we saw at the end of last season, Bowyer isn’t afraid to experiment with youth when he gave chances to the likes of Amari Miller – who has now moved on to Leeds – and Ryan Stirk who sealed himself a loan switch to Mansfield Town.
Both of Birmingham’s under-age squads – the under-23’s and under-18’s – play in the Premier League systems and whilst both sides aren’t exactly flying so far this season, they still possess some talented individuals.
Let’s look at two potential stars of the future for the Blues and see if they have a chance of making it in the first-team at St. Andrew’s in the near future.
Bellingham is surname that every Birmingham fan loves now after the emergence of Jude a few years ago, and he netted the club a cool initial £25 million last summer when he departed for German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Now it’s up to his younger brother Jobe, 16 years of age, to carry the legacy at St. Andrew’s but he will have a big job on his hands to do that – he’s not doing too badly though in the club’s under-18’s.
The forward has just turned 16, which was the age Jude broke into the first-team at the club and he’s firing in goals already, scoring three times in five appearances mainly from a wide position, offering both a goal contribution threat and pace.
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Bellingham was named in the senior squad for both of the club’s EFL Cup fixtures this season but didn’t make it onto the pitch, however if he continues his progression in the youth team then by the end of the season he will no doubt have made his debut for the club.
Another teenager with a bright future, 17-year-old Browne was playing for the club’s under-18’s as a 15-year-old at centre-back and he’s continued to develop.
Manchester-born Browne is a regular in the under-18’s defence now and although things aren’t going too well in the club’s first season at Premier League youth level, Browne is still attracting attention.
He spent time on trial with West Ham United last season and Tottenham Hotspur were also interested in swooping for him according to Football Insider, but Browne will remain at the Blues for the final year of his scholarship.
Standing at 1.88 metres, Browne has considerable height for such a young player and from compilations of the player on YouTube, he seems to be very comfortable with the ball at his feet so if the club are safe from relegation at the back end of the season and have nothing to play for, it would be nice to see Browne given a chance to show what he can do at Championship level and it may entice him to sign professional terms.