Birmingham City had a very busy pre-season as new boss Aitor Karanka was tasked with reshaping the squad, so several new signings arrived.
However, perhaps the most intriguing addition wasn’t finalised until November, when Blues brought in former AC Milan and Barcelona attacking midfielder Alen Halilovic.
The Croatian, who had been dubbed the new Lionel Messi as a youngster, hasn’t fulfilled his potential, but there was a hope that he could make an impact at St. Andrew’s.
But, it hasn’t really gone to plan for the 24-year-old, with injuries not helping. In total, Halilovic has made just seven appearances for Blues so far, and he is yet to register a goal or an assist.
In fairness, it should be stated that he hasn’t had a run in the team, whilst his appearances have predominantly come from the bench, and he did make an impact in the vital 1-0 win as a sub against Sheffield Wednesday last time out.
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Nevertheless, with his deal up in the summer, you would think that a turnaround is required for Halilovic to have a long-term future with Birmingham.
Although, there is still plenty of time for that to change, and with Karanka’s side struggling towards the bottom of the Championship, there is a chance that he will turn to the Croatian before the season ends.
And, with Blues struggling for goals, having netted just 22 times in 31 games, it’s pretty clear that they need more inspiration in the final third, which Halilovic would back himself to provide. But, if he does feature, the ex-Dinamo Zagreb man must show the battling qualities that all struggling teams need.
Ultimately, opportunities are going to come his way in the coming months, so it’s about taking them and playing a part in keeping Birmingham in the Championship. If he can manage that, a longer deal can’t be ruled out, but it’s something that won’t be assessed until the summer.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.