This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City manager Pep Clotet has strengthened his squad with the signing of French striker Jeremie Bela on a three-year deal, it has been confirmed on the club website.
The 26-year-old has now received his international clearance, and as he was a free agent, he is available to play straight away, having already spent some time training with Blues.
So will Bela prove a good signing at St Andrew’s? Is he needed?
“This looks like it could be a great pick up for the Blues and a really shrewd bit of business.
“Bela was Albacete’s top scorer the Spanish second flight last season, so it appears Pep Clotet has added an extra goal threat to his side.
“The Blues are amongst the lowest scorers in the Championship and have struggled to replace Che Adams’ goals in the final third, so bringing Bela in looks a smart move.
“To get him on a free transfer is really shrewd, given his quality. If he can hit the ground running he should provide them with a real boost this season.”
“This could turn out to be an inspired bit of business by Birmingham given Bela’s recent escapades with Albacete.
“One of the Spanish side’s stand-out performers last season, the winger scored 12 goals in all competitions as he helped the club reach the Segunda Division play-offs.
“However, following Albacete’s failure to achieve promotion to La Liga, Bela decided to call time on his brief stint at the Estadio Carlos Belmonte which allowed him to make the switch to Birmingham.
“Providing that he can make the adjustments needed to his game in order to cope with the competitiveness of the Championship, the 26-year-old could end up taking the division by storm with the Blues.”
Will Jeremie Bela prove a good signing at St Andrews?
“It’s a positive signing and one that makes sense regarding what they currently need.
“Bela will now allow them to play in a 4-3-3 formation, and Pep Clotet has been desperate to do that for quite some time so it’ll be interesting to see whether that can help their ruthlessness in front of goal.
“They have been good so far this season, but some games they don’t have enough going forward and Bela can be somebody to fill that void and hopefully add a few more goals to the team.
“At 26-years-old, he’s coming into his peak years so on the basis of all that, I think it’s a smart piece of business from Birmingham.”