It seems as though Birmingham City’s priority for the January transfer window, ought to be a pretty clear one.
With just 17 goals in 21 league games, and no player finding the net on more two occasions across the course of the campaign so far, so recruiting a new goalscorer feels like it is an absolute must for the Blues, if they are to push on in the Championship and avoid a nervous second-half of the campaign.
The January market does of course offer Birmingham the opportunity to do just that, but even that leaves pressure on the Blues to make sure they find the right man to do that job at St Andrew’s.
One option that you feel could be well worth considering for Aitor Karanka’s side to fill that role, is Plymouth Argyle’s Luke Jephcott.
Having shown glimpses of the talent he possessed to help Plymouth win promotion from League Two last season, the 20-year-old has now made the step up to League One level this season, in emphatic fashion.
Despite a somewhat inconsistent start to the campaign that sees the Pilgrims 14th in the third-tier standings, just five points clear of the relegation zone, Jephcott’s individual return has been remarkable, with his ten goals in 15 league games bettered only by the 12 netted by Jonson Clarke-Harris for leaue leaders Peterborough United.
With that in mind, you do feel as though Jephcott is someone who could be well worth targeting for Birmingham.
Given his record both this season and the last, the young striker clearly knows where the goal is, meaning he does look to have the ability to adapt to a step up, which would bode well for any move to the Championship he might make.
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Add to that the fact that – given he is still at such an early stage of his career – there is still plenty of time for the Wales Under 21 international to improve, meaning he could well be an asset for Aitor Karanka’s side for some time to come, should they manage to bring him to St Andrew’s.
Indeed, given the interest that Jephcott will inevitably attract during his career if he is to continue in the form he is currently enjoying, it could make sense for Birmingham to look to get a deal such as this done now, before another club beats them to it further down the line, which could then come back to bite them.
Understandably, and not surprisingly, Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe has recently insisted that Jephcott is not available for any price in January, and with the 20-year-old having only signed a new contract in the summer, the League One side are in a strong position to ensure that happens.
Things however, can change quickly in football – not least in the environment we currently find ourselves in – and Birmingham have already shown this year with the recruitment of the likes of Mikel San Jose and Alen Halilovic – whose last permanent clubs were Athletic Bilbao and AC Milan respectively, are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
A move for Jephcott would, admittedly, be a rather different way of doing that, but given the need for goals, and by extension of that wins, that Birmingham find themselves facing at the moment, it could be just as important.