Birmingham City have displayed a lot of positive signs at the start of the Championship season and they are showing signs that they have made progress under Lee Bowyer over the summer.
However, Birmingham’s frustrating 2-0 defeat against Bournemouth at St Andrews on Wednesday night highlighted a major issue that Bowyer will need to address before the transfer window closes for the Blues to have a positive campaign in the Championship.
For most of the game against Bournemouth, especially in the first half, the Blues had control of the game and they were creating the majority of the best chances to break the deadlock.
The attacking industry of Tahith Chong helped cause issues for Bournemouth’s defence but Birmingham were unable to finish off any of their opportunities.
That is something that Scott Parker’s side punished them for late on in the game with Dominic Solanke producing a fine finish and then Jaidon Anthony popped up with the second goal to seal the win three minutes from time.
Bournemouth’s clinical finishing in front of goal in the final 15 minutes of the game demonstrated the difference between the two sides and showed that whilst they have made progress at the start of the season, Birmingham are still just a little short on quality in the final third to really challenge for the top-six.
The likes of Lukas Jutkiewicz, Scott Hogan and Chuks Aneke should all have the ability to weigh in with vital goals throughout the season, but the fact that the Blues have scored just once in their first three league games shows that they might not have enough firepower at this stage.
The latest report from Football Insider has now suggested that Birmingham have entered the race to secure the signing of Watford’s experienced forward Andre Gray before the window closes.
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Gray is a player that has proven pedigree at Championship level and he has already demonstrated that if handed regular starts in a solid team in the English second tier he can inspire them to a promotion charge as he did with Burnley during the 2015/16 campaign.
The forward was not able to repeat the 23 goal output he produced for Burnley in the 2015/16 season in his first campaign back at that level last term. However, he was only handed 14 starts for Watford in the league and therefore his tally of five goals was a decent enough return.
It is clear that Gray is no longer firmly in Watford’s plans for this season and he was left out of their squad for their Premier League opener against Aston Villa last weekend.
You could see Birmingham taking advantage of that and Gray would potentially be the perfect option for them to have within their squad.
The 30-year-old has shown that he can be a reliable scorer at Championship level and he would be able to finish off some of the chances that they are not capitalising on at this moment.
While Gray is also used to combining well with more of a target man having done so to good effect during his time with Burnley and also less frequently with Watford. That means that Bowyer could look to pair him with Jutkiewicz and try and give opponents something different to think about.
Given Gray’s likely availability, it could be vital that Birmingham move quickly to beat other teams that are interested in him to his signature this summer.