Birmingham City are planning to push their academy up to Category 1, but are facing up to the prospect of losing a number of players in the process.
It’s been revealed by The Athletic that Blues are planning to ditch their under-23 set up in favour of a B Team, as they follow the likes of Brentford and Huddersfield Town.
However, that same report details how they are now fielding interest in some of their talent kicking around in the academy.
The Athletic report that Aston Villa and Wolves have an eye on developments across the Midlands, with plans in place at both Villa Park and Molineux to really add to their own youth set ups.
Calum Scanlon – a 15-year-old England youth international – has left St Andrew’s and opted for a move to Liverpool, whilst Rico Browne is not expected to be far behind him.
Birmingham’s academy is famed for its success, with Jude Bellingham the most recent high-profile story.
He’s moved onto Borussia Dortmund, where he plays first team football and has also played himself into the senior England set up.
Did Birmingham City sign each of these 18 players for more or less than £1 million?
In terms of the first team at Birmingham, they are sitting 19th in the Championship table right now under Aitor Karanka.
Blues are hovering four points above the relegation zone and looking for an upturn of results in 2021 to ease any fears of a collapse leading to a relegation battle.
There’s clearly a reason why Birmingham want to move their youth set up to a ‘B Team’ but it does still raise eyebrows.
Blues have had such success promoting youth over the years, so why change now?
That’s particularly topical when consider that there’s going to be players departing, who might’ve been of use to the club in the future.
Seeing them move to Villa or Wolves would be an added sickener for the club.
However, fans are just going to have to trust the club’s judgement, however hard that might be.
Thoughts? Let us know!