There was somewhat of a slight surprise amongst Birmingham City fans at the end of the season when it was announced that Jeremie Bela would not be offered a new contract by the Blues.
The 29-year-old Angola international winger has been a Birmingham player since the summer of 2019, when he arrived from Spanish outfit Albacete on a free transfer.
In his three years as a Blues man, Bela appeared 101 times in all competitions, and played at least 30 times in a league season for all three Championship campaigns he had in the Midlands.
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Despite appearing 31 times in the second tier of English football last season, the majority of which were played in a more unfamiliar role of left wing-back, Bela was not offered renewed terms at St. Andrew’s, leaving him without a club going into the summer.
However, Bela has now found his next move as he’s penned a two-year contract with French outfit Clermont Foot.
Les Lanciers survived the drop zone of Ligue 1 last season, meaning that Bela will play top flight football across the English Channel.
Even though he didn’t always start last season for Birmingham, Bela would have been a decent rotational option for John Eustace this season.
However, it appears that Przemysław Płacheta, on loan from Norwich City, has taken Bela’s place and will operate as a wing-back, and in truth that could make Blues more balanced as the Pole is a left-footer.
It is good though to see Bela now fixed up with a new club, after going most of pre-season without one.
He will now have to get up to speed fitness-wise to be ready for the new season, as he will be coming up against some top teams such as PSG, Marseille, Monaco and Lyon in the next few months.