Birmingham City boss Lee Bowyer insists that Fran Villalba can force his way into the team ahead of the new season.
The Spanish winger joined Blues in the summer of 2019 and he did show flashes of his talent in the first few months. However, Villalba struggled for consistency and he has gone on to spend the past 18 months on loan with Almeria.
The 23-year-old returned to the west Midlands for pre-season and he was included for the friendly game against Barrow yesterday.
And, speaking to Birmingham Live, Bowyer explained how he will never shut the door on any player, with performances in training and games the way individuals can get a place in the XI.
“I’m open minded to everybody – the young lads, Fran, Jutkiewicz, everybody. All I ask them to do is go onto the pitch and do well and persuade me that you’re the one who should be playing on the first game of the season.”
Blues are well stocked for options out wide though, with Jordan Graham and Tahith Chong having joined the team this summer.
Can you name the Birmingham City player who has been carded the most in each of the last 16 seasons?
This is the right approach from Bowyer because he hasn’t worked with Villalba yet and it would be wrong not to give the player a chance to impress.
As well as that, all players will appreciate the honesty from the boss here and it says to them that if they do play well, opportunities will come there way.
Of course, competition for places is pretty fierce out wide for Blues, so Villalba has a lot of work to do, but it’s now down to him to show in training and upcoming friendlies that he should have a role to play.
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