This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City have had a tough season this year and they’ll be eager to finish it by securing safety in the Championship and then moving on into next season.
Certainly, it’ll be an interesting summer window whatever happens as Lee Bowyer gets his first transfer market in charge of the club and he’ll be looking to improve the squad where he can.
That said, what should be the priority for the Blues this summe? Some of our writers here at FLW discuss…
Birmingham are facing a hugely important summer transfer window and they will need to find the right sort of players that will suit what Lee Bowyer is trying to build at St Andrew’s. One of their most important issues this season has been their lack of goals, with only bottom of the table Wycombe Wanderers having scored as few goals as the Blues’ 29.
It is vital that Birmingham address this in the summer and allow Bowyer the funds to invest in some added creativity and potentially another more reliable goal scorer up front. The creation of chances in the final third has improved since Bowyer took charge of the Blues, with him demanding his wide players deliver more crosses into the penalty area than they were doing under Aitor Karanka.
Therefore, they might be needing to invest in the talent they have in the wide areas if they are going to be able to score more goals from getting crosses into the penalty area. Bowyer will need to identify the right type of players to bring into the squad either in the wide positions or in midfield who have the ability to create more chances for them.
Although Birmingham did invest in Sam Cosgrove in January, they were also after Kevin Nisbet. That suggests that they will want to sign a new striker in the summer. That again will be vital for the Blues if they are to find more goals in the final third next term.
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For me, Birmingham need to somehow fix their goalscoring issues. They lack a potent goalscorer up top, which is a problem.
Goals win football matches, and if you don’t have that source of goals, then it’s very hard to pick up results and in turn climb the table.
Scott Hogan is leading the way with seven, but after that, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Sam Cosgrove have been unable to make an impact.
Maybe they will in time, but I think some work needs to be done in the final third.
I think what Birmingham need the most as has shown this season is a really good ball-playing centre-back next to Harlee Dean.
For a lot of the season, the Blues have struggled defensively but under Lee Bowyer things seem to be getting a bit better, with clean sheets against top sides like Brentford and Swansea.
Bowyer has gone with a back three for the last few games, with Marc Roberts, Dean and Kristian Pedersen as a back three, and I think Roberts could potentially be upgraded on the right hand side with a younger defender who has good passing abilities.
Aside from that, I think if Rekeem Harper doesn’t return on loan again another central midfielder could be on the agenda as well, a creative one to play next to Ivan Sunjic and if they can keep Alen Halilovic for another season then even better.