The Blues had the option to trigger an extension for the 29-year-old, which would have kept him at St. Andrew’s for at least one more season, but ultimately Lee Bowyer and the hierarchy decided not to do so.
Having signed from Spanish outfit Albacete in 2019, the one-cap Angola international winger played 101 times in all competitions for Birmingham, scoring nine times in that period – his best goal tally coming in his debut campaign with four goals.
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In his final season at the Blues, Bela often featured as a left wing-back under Bowyer, who abandoned his formation that utilised wingers, which forced the France-born attacker to adopt a new position.
— Jérémie Bela (@JeremieBela10) June 7, 2022
“As you know, my departure of the team has been made official,” Bela wrote.
“I would like to dedicate a few words to you, first of all thinks to everyone who has been with me those three years in Birmingham.
“To the people I met in this amazing club, all my team-mates, my managers, staff and especially to the fans, you will always be in my heart.
“You, the fans, deserve the best.
“From the first day I felt at home and this is because of you.
“Not everything was perfect, but I’m calm because I always gave everything for this shirt in every game.
“I’m leaving Birmingham, but I will always be a Blue.
“I wish you the best, both to the club and to the fans. God bless you.”
Even though his final season in a Birmingham shirt didn’t see him feature in a position he knew that well, Bela consistently gave his all for the club.
The Angolan will probably have no issues finding a new club, whether that is in England or overseas, but his time at the Blues could have been a lot more successful.
Birmingham struggled in the three years he played for them, but that’s no slight on Bela as a player.
Blues supporters liked the 29-year-old and there’s definitely no guarantee that they will be able to attract a better quality winger with his departure now confirmed.