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 are among the clubs interested in a move for Stephen O’Donnell, according to the Daily Mail.
The 29-year-old full-back has really caught the eye in recent days after a stunning display in the Euro 2020 clash with England at Wembley Stadium on Friday evening – a match that ended 0-0.
O’Donnell plays for Motherwell at the moment but is reportedly set to attract interest from a number of Championship clubs including Derby County, Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool and Barnsley.
It’s said that the player has a release clause in his deal and with Lee Bowyer keen to strengthen his squad, he could be tempted by a move.
So would O’Donnell be a good addition for the Blues?
The team at FLW have their say…
I’m always wary of clubs moving for players based upon their performances at international tournaments and this screams of that.
Stephen O’Donnell is a solid full-back defensively but I’m not sure he offers a huge amount going forward.
That said, you feel Lee Bowyer may like how reliable the Scotsman is and in that sense this could be a good fit.
My worry is that Birmingham may end up spending more on this deal – fee, agents fee, wages, etc – than they should do because his stock is rising during the tournament.
They need to be cleverer than that.
I don’t see the point of this when Blues have Maxime Colin at the club.
That’s not to say that O’Donnell wouldn’t be a good player at this level, as he clearly would. His display against England in Euro 2020 proved that he is a solid, reliable defender and to pick him up for a low fee would be smart business for any buying club.
However, it’s the one position that Blues don’t need to strengthen. Realistically, O’Donnell wouldn’t join to be a sub and he’s not a clear upgrade on Colin, so, unless the Frenchman is leaving, it seems a waste of time and the money for the deal should be put elsewhere.
You could argue that Colin could switch to left-back if needed and you need strength in depth but it’s going to be tough to carry two senior right-backs for a season.
So, Blues should steer clear and focus on other areas that need improving.
I’m not too sure about this potential deal.
Birmingham already have some strong options available to them in a similar position, and so I don’t think they need to be pursuing a deal to sign O’Donnell at this moment in time.
I’ve not been overly convinced by O’Donnell’s performances for Scotland at the Euros this summer, and there are probably better options out there for Lee Bowyer’s side.
I think he’d be a solid addition for a team in League One, but I don’t think he’d be a regular starter for a team in the Championship heading into the new season.