This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City have confirmed the signing of Adam Clayton on a free transfer following his release from Middlesbrough.
The 31-year-old central midfielder links up again with Aitor Karanka after they both spent time at the Riverside Stadium together at Boro.
So, what do you make of this signing? Was he needed at Birmingham?
The team here at FLW discuss…
This is another solid signing for Aitor Karanka and Birmingham City.
Clayton is an experienced player who brings real leadership, strength and defensive steel to the midfield, and he also knows what it takes to be successful at Championship level having won promotion with Middlesbrough under Karanka in the 2015/16 campaign.
His relationship with Karanka could help him thrive at St. Andrew’s, as the Spaniard has clearly got the best out of the midfielder in the past, and there is no reason to suggest why he can’t do that again. He knows him like the back of his hands, which can only be beneficial for Blues going forward.
At 31 years of age, Clayton still has plenty to offer, I feel, and not only he is a top player on the pitch, but along with the likes of George Friend, he will provide real character in the dressing room and be a fantastic person to have round the club given his experience and age.
Birmingham needed to bolster their midfield options, and the addition of Clayton adds real competition for the likes of Ivan Sunjic and Maikel Kieftenbeld following Jude Bellingham’s move to Borussia Dortmund.
On a free transfer, this is a very smart bit of business.
What club did Birmingham City sign each of these 14 players on loan from? Have a go now!
I think so.
Birmingham were tough to beat at times last season but also rolled over too much and they need to add a consistent level of steeliness to be hard to beat.
For me, Karanka will bring that with his coaching methods but also with the players he signs and this is a big nod to that.
Clayton is a hard player in the middle of the park, a real competitor and one that knows this league very well indeed, I think it’s an astute piece of business.
With a few more additions like this, there’s every chance the Blues will have a good season.
I can’t say I’m hugely excited by this signing but it’s by no means a bad move for the Blues.
Clayton played under Karanka at Boro and has shown himself to be a very reliable Championship central midfielder.
He appears to be a player that the Spaniard trusts and from that perspective, it’s a move that looks a sensible one and it seems a relatively cheap one.
Does it make them a significantly better side? I’m not entirely sure.
I’m not convinced it’s an upgrade on either Ivan Sunjic or Gary Gardner but he’ll certainly add some experience and nous to Birmingham’s midfield.