Cardiff City have confirmed that Neil Etheridge has left the club in a permanent deal, moving across the Championship to link up with Birmingham City and Aitor Karanka.
The 30-year-old goalkeeper had been on the books in South Wales for the last three seasons, helping Cardiff to promotion in 2017/18 and playing consistently in the Premier League the following year.
Of course, Cardiff’s 2018/19 campaign in the Premier League was just a single season and they were back in the Championship last season. Etheridge started as the club’s first choice, but lost his place in the side to Alex Smithies, who was Neil Harris’ keeper heading into the play-offs earlier this summer.
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Now, it’s been confirmed that Etheridge has left the Bluebirds, taking up a role with Birmingham, who are embarking on life under Karanka at St Andrew’s.
Whilst the 30-year-old is technically moving to a direct rival in the Championship, there’s plenty of well wishes.
Here, we dive into the classy Cardiff response…
Performed heroics for the Bluebirds in the Premiership. I understand why he's now leaving but worthy of a better club than Birmingham. He'll be involved in a relegation scrap this season.
— Glyn Sexton (@glynster61) September 11, 2020
Sad but an understandable decision in the end. A fantastic guy on and off the pitch who always had time for the fans. Once a Bluebird, always a Bluebird. Diolch Neil😔 o/ <o> o/ <o> o/
— Rhydian Bowen Phillips (@RhydBowPhill) September 11, 2020
An absolutely unreal shot stopper for us during the premier league and promotion campaigns… Birmingham fans you've got yourselves a very good keeper here👍
— Hoppo🏴 (@I_Hopkins1) September 11, 2020
— Joshua Watson (@josh_wats09123) September 11, 2020
All the best Neil , 100 percent to good to be on the bench
— Rich H (@RJH87_) September 11, 2020
Thank you Neil for 3 wonderful years, great keeper & class act. Best of luck at Birmingham.
— Jim (@Jimdj1987) September 11, 2020
Treat him well @BCFC you’ve got some ‘keeper on your hands
— George Jones (@GeorgeJones2002) September 11, 2020
He deserved much better 😕
— RumpusGuy64 🦊🦅🐰🐸 (@AllThatRumpus) September 11, 2020