Lee Bowyer admitted he wanted to sign Dion Sanderson on a permanent deal from Wolverhampton Wanderers this summer, the manager told BirminghamLive after his side’s 2-0 cup defeat to Fulham on Tuesday evening.
The 21-year-old made his return from injury in the League Cup second round affair, coming off after 73 minutes, with the score at 1-0, and achieving a WhoScored rating of 6.7.
Sanderson caught the eye of many in an impressive loan spell at Sunderland last season, convincing Bowyer to bring him to St Andrew’s this summer even though he was recovering from injury upon arrival. When the 21-year-old is up to speed he will be challenging the experienced duo of Marc Roberts and Harlee Dean for a starting place at centre back.
Bowyer said: “I understand another Premier League club tried to buy him as well. But obviously they (Wolves) speak highly of him and think that he will go a long way.
“He’s here now, he did well last year at Sunderland, I guess this is his next stepping stone.”
It will be interesting to see how Sanderson recovers from his first runout in a Blues shirt, the club will be hoping he is fit to at least travel with the squad for Saturday trip to Barnsley.
Considering the 21-year-old had not even featured on the bench this season, 73 minutes is a respectable total and one that suggests he is fit to be in the squad for league games.
Back injuries can crop up again if the player is rushed back so the Blues will be cautious in ensuring Sanderson is ready for a regular place in the first team, but Tuesday evening was very positive.
There is no need to rush him back with the early season form shown by Bowyer’s Blues. The current crop have managed four clean sheets from the opening six and therefore Sanderson should be afforded plenty of time to ease back into the picture.