Birmingham City caretaker head coach Pep Clotet has revealed that he believes Jeremie Bela’s goal-scoring prowess could help his side take their game to new heights in the Championship.
The Blues, who are currently 12th in the second-tier standings, bolstered their attacking options by signing the 26-year-old on Wednesday on a three-year deal.
Following a lengthy contract dispute with Albacete, Bela was released by the Spanish side earlier this week which allowed him to complete a move to St Andrew’s.
Available to play in the club’s clash with Fulham this weekend, it will be intriguing to see whether the winger is given a chance to impress by Clotet.
One of Albacete’s stand-out performers last season, Bela fired in 12 goals in all competitions as the club secured a third-place finish in the Segunda Division.
Speaking to the club’s official website following the Frenchman’s arrival, Clotet said: “Jeremie [Bela] has a record of very good numbers when it comes to goal-scoring chances, he is very calm in the box, using those chances he is very cool in those situations.
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“Not only when he plays in the middle, especially when he plays wide as well, it is not easy to find wingers with that solid track record.
“It gives us more options, it allows us to play with two or three forwards, that’s very important for us going forward.”
If the Blues beat Fulham tomorrow, they could move up to seventh in the Championship standings depending on the outcome of results elsewhere.
Whilst it may take Bela a few games to adjust to the competitiveness that the second-tier is famed for, he could end up becoming a key player for Birmingham over the coming months.
If he hits the ground running at St Andrew’s, the former Albacete man may be able to inspire the Blues to a top-six finish next May.
However, Bela will first have to prove why he deserves a place in Clotet’s starting eleven ahead of Dan Crowley and Fran Villalba who currently occupy the wide positions for Birmingham.