Boxing Day saw Alen Halilovic make his full league debut for Birmingham City in their 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
The 24-year-old made his first start for Blues since arriving on a free transfer last month, showing flashes of his ability which saw him come through the ranks at Barcelona.
Halilovic’s inclusion came after Jon Toral missed out through injury, and the Croatian also came off at half-time after picking up a groin problem.
On came Gary Gardner at the interval, with no Daniel Crowley to be seen in the matchday squad.
It has been a frustrating campaign for Crowley thus far. The midfielder has made only three appearances in the Championship under Aitor Karanka, and two of those have been substitute cameos.
Crowley was unable to squeeze into Karanka’s 3-5-2 system last month, but even after reverting to a 4-2-3-1 formation at the weekend, there was no place in the squad for the attacking midfielder.
The signs are slowly starting to point towards a move away for Crowley, who is clearly out of Karanka’s plans at St. Andrew’s. Would that be wise, though?
Halilovic looked bright at the weekend, but his substitution at half-time shows how easy is it for players to pick up injuries within a hectic festive schedule.
With Jon Toral also out, Crowley is a natural number 10 who could slot straight into the side and look to prove a point to Karanka.
The former Arsenal man played some of his best football under Pep Clotet last season, registering five assists in 38 Championship matches.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, time is running out for the midfielder to impress and prove a point.
But with less and less bodies becoming available to Birmingham, they should resist temptation and avoid parting ways next month.