Birmingham City have had a very high turnover of players over the past few years and it’s fair to say it hasn’t always gone to plan with new signings.
One who arrived at St. Andrew’s with a decent reputation was Fran Villalba, signing on a three-year deal from Valencia after a productive spell out on loan in La Liga 2 with Numancia.
However, despite showing flashes of his talent in his first few weeks, the winger was shipped out on loan to Almeria in January and he rejoined the Spanish second division side for the current campaign.
And, it’s fair to say that Villalba, and the team, have endured a miserable start to the season.
After six games, Almeria are outside the relegation zone on goal difference and Villalba’s impact on the side has been minimal. Whilst he has been a regular on the whole, featuring five times, the 22-year-old is yet to register a goal or an assist.
The low point for the player undoubtedly came in the 1-0 loss at Logrones earlier this month when Villalba was booked and replaced at half-time. As a result, he featured in just 18 minutes over the next two games.
But, he was restored to the XI for the game last time out against Fuenlabrada and played the full game as they recorded a dominant 3-0 win.
Everyone connected to the club will hope that can be the catalyst for the underperforming side to kick on and Villalba will hope he has done enough to keep his place in the team moving forward.