After a turbulent start to the 2016/17 season, Birmingham City were in desperate need of a strong January transfer window.
With the club pushing for the play-offs and sat in seventh place, manager Gary Rowett was inexplicably sacked by the club’s new owners in the middle of December.
It completely soured any immediate relationship the fans could have had with the incumbents and the appointment of Gianfranco Zola as boss did very little to help either.
The Italian picked up just one point before the January transfer window where he was clearly eager to splash more cash to build his own squad.
And a number of big money signings were made, with Emiliano Nsue, Lukasz Jutkiewicz and Kerim Frei all arriving for significant fees.
Another, less well known, man arrived for a hefty fee as well.
This is FLW Rewind where we take a look back at a big decision made by a club, analyse the initial reaction and document what happened next.
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) January 19, 2017
The Blues were in dire need of a left-back all season and finally, they had one in the form of 20-year-old Cheick Keita who arrived from Italian Serie B side Virtus Entella.
Despite previous decisions rubbing the fans up the wrong way, this was one that appeared to show the ambition of both Zola and the new owners and it pleased the St. Andrew’s faithful no end:
— K6 ???????? (@BCFCJono) January 19, 2017
WE HAVE SIGNED A LEFT BACK!!!!!!!!!!
— cal (@calhollowood) January 19, 2017
we are gonna be amazing!!
— Matt Ford (@matt_ford) January 19, 2017
— Stuart (@stuart_bcfc) January 19, 2017
Unfortunately, the youngster failed dramatically to kick on and fulfil his potential with the club.
In the remaining matches of the 2016/17 season, as the Blues swiftly drifted to the bottom of the table, Keita made ten relatively unspectacular appearances.
But the arrival of Harry Redknapp appeared to signal an end to his chances of Birmingham appearances.
In the following summer, after making just one 11 minute appearance, he was sent out on loan to Bologna for the season and then again this summer to Belgian side, KAS Eupen.