Birmingham City will be able to start to plan for the 2021/22 campaign if they pick up a few more points between now and the end of the season.
With just four games to go, the Blues are in a much better place than they were over a month ago following the end of Aitor Karanka’s time at St Andrew’s.
The Spaniard had led the club into another relegation battle and the responsibility was passed on to Lee Bowyer to try and get Birmingham out of another mess.
He’s galvanised the team and led them to four wins in his six matches in charge, and a win over Nottingham Forest this evening would almost certainly see them safe in the Championship for next season.
There’s going to be a few squad decisions to sort out though at the end of the season, but not many players have their contracts expiring.
Jon Toral is one of those who may be leaving, and another whose deal will be up on June 30 is left-back Steve Seddon.
Seddon has been at the club since he was a teenager when he swapped Reading for the Blues and signed a scholarship with them in 2014.
Despite signing his first pro deal in 2016, his City debut didn’t come until the start of the 2019-20 season after impressive loan spells at Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon the season before, but after playing in four of the first five Championship games for the Blues he was ruled out for months with a hip injury.
When recovered, Seddon found himself out on loan at Portsmouth for the rest of that campaign, and seemingly not in Karanka’s plans this season, Seddon returned to Wimbledon until the end of 2020.
Bowyer’s arrival though has seen an opportunity arise for the 23-year-old – he came off the bench briefly against Reading but since then has started three of Birmingham’s last four games, and he’s slotted really well into the left-wing-back position of Bowyer’s 3-5-2.
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Seddon’s eventual emergence into first-team prominence now means that the club have a decision to make this summer – it’s just over two months until his contract expires and if Bowyer wants him as part of the squad going forward, his option will need to be triggered and then perhaps an extension offered.
Top League One clubs will no doubt be interested in Seddon – former loan club Portsmouth were interested in a deal for him in January but nothing happened, although that’s not to say they won’t show interest again should Birmingham not sort out his contract situation.
Blues fans love to see players come up through their youth system and into the first team and although Seddon has been a late developer, he’s showing that the club have a big decision to make on his future.