Birmingham City have confirmed goalkeeper Michael Luyambula has joined League Two side Crawley Town on a season-long loan.
Luyambula’s impressive performances last season earned him a new deal at St Andrew’s earlier this month, and he will now fight for the number-one spot at the People’s Pension Stadium.
He joined the Blues last summer following his release from Borussia Dortmund, and he made 12 appearances for their Under 23s during the first half of the season.
The 20-year-old then joined National League South side Hungerford Town during the second half of the campaign, where he made 20 appearances to help steer the Crusaders to safety.
Luyambula will link up with former Blues coach and current Crawley boss Gabriele Cioffi at his new club, where he has been handed the number 35 shirt.
Cioffi told Crawley’s club website: “We welcome Michael to the club. I know him from my time on the coaching staff at Birmingham and he came on trial with us towards the end of last season and impressed me again.
“So, this is a big opportunity for him to put Glenn (Morris) under pressure.”
This is a really good move for Luyambula, and he should really benefit from the experience of spending the season within the senior set-up at an EFL club.
He was highly impressive during his loan spell at Hungerford last season and has very much earned his new deal at St Andrew’s. This loan switch will now give him a chance to show what he can do at a good level.
Cioffi’s comments suggest the 20-year-old will start off as a back-up option for current number one Morris, but I expect Luyambula to push hard for a place in the side.
It would not be a surprise to see Luyambula make a good number of first-team appearances next season, which could then earn him the right to be involved with Birmingham’s senior side in the near future.