Aitor Karanka has had a pretty impressive start to life as Birmingham City manager, with his side yet to lose in the Championship.
A return of six points form the opening four games represents a decent return and fans will be pleased with the platform that the new boss has laid down.
However, the opening weeks have also shown that more improvement is needed if Blues are to be serious contenders for a play-off place.
So, Karanka and the recruitment team are sure to be on the lookout for new signings before the domestic deadline on October 16 but there are also talented players they could take on a free.
Here we look at THREE free agents they could realistically sign…
The early season success at St. Andrew’s has been built on a solid defence, so it’s not an area that needs addressing urgently.
But, you could argue that Blues lack depth across the back four, so bringing in Mariappa, who can play right-back or centre-back, would be good business. Plus, his experience and know-how may be crucial.
He did reasonably well for Watford last season in the Premier League and on a short-term deal it would make sense for Birmingham.
Quiz: Can you name these 10 ex-Birmingham City midfielders?
Rajiv van La Parra
The issues for Karanka’s side have been at the other end of the pitch, with the lack of goals and creativity a concern.
Jeremie Bela is arguably one of the best players Blues have and Ivan Sanchez has enjoyed a decent start but more options are needed out wide.
So, van La Parra, who is known to fans in this country having had spells at Wolves and Huddersfield, would be an astute signing.
He can be inconsistent but the quick Dutchman is direct and skilful – qualities that Blues need.
The former Arsenal striker remains a free agent after leaving Toulouse in the summer and a move to Middlesbrough fell through.
And, he may be exactly what Birmingham need. Firstly, the lack of depth up top is alarming as there is not much behind Lukas Jutkiewicz and Scott Hogan.
More importantly though, he has the qualities that Karanka wants in that he is big, strong and can bring others into play.
If he can prove his fitness at St. Andrew’s, signing the 27-year-old could work out well for Blues.