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Lee Bowyer confirms January departure for Birmingham City player

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Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer has confirmed that Riley McGree will “one hundred percent” return to parent club Charlotte FC in January. 

The 23-year-old first joined on loan from the MLS club back in October 2020 and returned to the club again in May this year, though the second spell is only set to run until the start of January so he can join up with the American side for pre-season.

McGree has emerged as a key attacking influence for the Blues this season and some fans may have been hoping that the Championship outfit could strike a deal to ensure he stays at St Andrew’s beyond the turn of the year.

However, speaking to Birmingham Live, Bowyer has now confirmed that the Australian will “one hundred percent” be leaving the club in January.

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With Man United loanee Tahith Chong also sidelined with a long-term injury, the Blues will have lost two of their most important creative players and the manager has urged the club to “replace them” in the winter window.

He added: “You have to because they are two players that have done well for us so far in the season and we have to strengthen the squad.”

Birmingham are 15th as things stand but could rise as high as eighth with a win against Hull City on Saturday.

The Verdict

McGree’s January return to Charlotte has seemed very likely for some time now, with reports at the start of the month indicating that an extension looked unlikely.

Even so, to have the news confirmed will be a blow for Blues fans and they now face heading into 2022 without two of their most important creative players.

What it does do is give the club a lot of time to identify a replacement before the start of January.

Unless Bowyer gets the backing he’s asking for in the upcoming window, it could be a frustrating second half of the season for the West Midlands club.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Lee Bowyer confirms January departure for Birmingham City player

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