He may have only joined Birmingham City back in November, but already, Alen Halilovic will no doubt be starting to consider his future with the Blues beyond the end of the season.
Having joined the club as a free agent towards the end of 2020 following his departure from Italian giants AC Milan in the summer, the Croatian international of whom so much was once expected, only signed a contract with Birmingham until the end of the season.
As a result, with just a couple of months remaining in the campaign, it is now getting to the point were decisions will have to be made on Halilovic’s future, both by the club and the player, and it seems as though there will be plenty for both parties to think about.
Since making that move to St Andrew’s back in November, Halilovic has made just nine league appearances for the club, starting on just three occasions.
As a result, it does seem as though the attacking midfielder still has some work to do really establish himself in the side at St Andrew’s, which may not make it easy for him to earn a new deal.
Indeed, speaking after Halilovic scored what is so far his only goal for the club, an admittedly brilliant late winner in the Blues’ 2-1 win over QPR at the end of last month, manager Aitor Karanka revealed that he would be keen to keep Halilovic at the club, but only if he continues playing to that level.
Given that since then, Halilovic started but was substituted in Birmingham’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield in their next game after that win, before being an unused substitute in their subsequent 1-0 defeat at Barnsley this weekend, it seems as though the 24-year-old may have yet to do that again.
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It is, of course, also worth noting that Halilovic’s future could well be influenced by the division that Birmingham find themselves playing in next season, with the Blues currently 21st in the Championship table, three points clear of the relegation zone but having played three games more than 22nd placed Rotherham.
Considering the financial blow that a drop into the third-tier of English football would hit Birmingham with, the club would no doubt have to cut costs and given you imagine a player with the profile of Halilovic will not exactly have come on the cheap, he could be one who may be in the firing line, and you do wonder whether he would be willing to make that drop into League One anyway.
With that in mind, it seems that there is still plenty to be decided when it comes to the variables that ultimately dictate Halilovic’s future at Birmingham beyond the end of this season.
As a result, it seems the best thing the attacking midfield can do for now is look to make the impact many will no doubt have expected from him when he first arrived at Birmingham, to try and boost both his own prospects and those of the club as a whole.