Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka has paid tribute to midfielder Riley McGree for the progress he has made since his move to the club.
McGree joined the Blues on loan from newly formed MLS side Charlotte FC back in the summer transfer window, and was handed his first start for the club in Saturday’s trip to Preston.
The midfielder repaid Karanka’s faith by netting his first goal for the club, opening the scoring after just two minutes, as Birmingham went on to record a 2-1 win at Deepdale, and Karanka is full of praise for the summer signing.
Speaking about McGree in the aftermath of that victory, Karanka was quoted by The Birmingham Mail as saying: “I am really pleased with him because I think he is the image of the work in the training ground.
“I don’t know exactly when he arrived but he has settled in really well, the other players have taken to him really well because everybody could see how good he is.”
Discussing the agreement Birmingham have with Charlotte – who are set to begin competing in 2022 – Karanka appears confident things are going well with McGree for all concerned, with the Birmingham boss adding: “All parties are really pleased.
“The player who is happy now because he has played and scored a goal, Birmingham City Football Club because we have a very good player and Charlotte because we are developing this player.”
McGree and his new side currently sit 13th in the Championship table, and are next in action when they host Wycombe on Wednesday night.
This does look to be a deal it working well for those involved in it.
McGree has clearly made a big impression at St Andrew’s, and he will no doubt be brimming with confidence having made that breakthrough with his first goal for the club on Saturday afternoon.
Indeed, that is something both McGree and Karanka will no doubt be hoping to build on going forward, and given the comments from the Birmingham manager here, you have to wonder whether we could see further agreements between the Championship club and Charlotte, if this continues to be a success.