Birmingham City are said to be amongst a plethora of Championship clubs that hold an interest in signing Huddersfield Town’s Alex Pritchard this month, with the Telegraph reporting that the Terriers could make a move either this month or in the summer.
Capable of playing as a number ten or on either flank, Pritchard boasts a solid reputation at second tier level for being a good creative outlet but has so far struggled for sustained fitness this term, limiting him to just five starts for the Yorkshire based club.
With the player’s current contract expiring in the summer of this year, speculation continues to persists as to where the former Tottenham Hotspur man will be playing his football next season.
16 questions about Aitor Karanka that Birmingham City fans may struggle to get correct – Can you get full marks?
Here, we take a look at TWO potential knock-on effects at Birmingham City if they secure a deal to sign Pritchard…
Jon Toral under threat?
One particular effect of this signing is that Jon Toral could well lose his place in the Birmingham starting eleven under Aitor Karanka.
The Spaniard has flattered to deceive for the Blues this term and would potentially struggle to hold onto his starting spot if the more attacking Pritchard arrived this month.
Admittedly the former Arsenal man offers a good range of passing but he does not possess the same level of goal scoring threat as Pritchard, with the Huddersfield man having previously shown a good eye for goal during his past spells in the Championship with Norwich City and Brentford.
Toral could well be forced to drop deeper into a holding role to accommodate the number ten in behind Scott Hogan up top, meaning Pritchard’s arrival would see things change for the club in an attacking sense.
Alternative for Jeremie Bela?
Bela has been one of Birmingham’;s more effective attacking outlets this term with two goals and four assists but would surely benefit from the arrival of Pritchard.
The latter could be used both behind the striker or on the wing, opening up the opportunity for Bela to either be rotated or play alongside the attacker, thus helping the Blues to create more attacking chances in the long run.
Whilst Bela prefers to get to the byline and put in a cross, Pritchard is more likely to cut inside on to his favoured right foot when playing on the left, meaning that Karanka would have two different styles to choose from.
Jonathan Leko has been used as an alternative for Bela but a lack of form has seen question marks being raised over whether he can be a consistent starter for the club or not in the long-term, potentially opening the door for Pritchard to come in.