Birmingham City signing this 22-cap Swiss star could pay off nicely in their promotion push

Why Birmingham City should reignite their interest in Mario Gavranovic

According to a report from the Birmingham Live, Birmingham City had been credited with an interest in Dinamo Zagreb forward Mario Gavranovic during the summer transfer window. 

As per the report, the Blues made an enquiry for the Swiss international with just a few hours left before the closure of the transfer window on August 8.

Having secured a deal for Ivan Sunjic from Dinamo Zagreb earlier in the window, Birmingham City had hoped to make Gavranovic their second recruit from the Croatian giants.

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Mario Gavranovic has experience of playing in Switzerland, Germany and Croatia (Getty Images)

However, in the end, a potential deal fell through given that there was not enough time left to finalise terms with the 29-year-old.

Fast forwarding the sequence of events to mid-November, Pep Clotet should be reasonably happy with how things have panned out for his team so far in the Championship, with almost all the summer recruits making an impact to varying degrees.

Notwithstanding the fact that it has been a hit-and-miss start to the campaign for City, who are currently placed 13th in the standings, six points adrift of the playoff spots, the fans at St. Andrew’s have enough reason to expect better things from a unit that has grown in confidence and responded well to Clotet’s new philosophy.

With that in mind, however, City’s lack of firepower up top continues to be a major cause of concern moving forward and meagre returns of just 16 goals in 16 games definitely epitomise the need to bring some attacking reinforcements in January.

Despite Dan Crowley establishing himself as a key creative outlet in Clotet’s preferred 4-4-2 system, the Blues have been hit hard by the failure of Alvaro Gimenez, who had been roped in from the Spanish second-tier back in the summer to work in tandems with Lukasz Jutkiewicz up top and provide a genuine goal threat by playing off a traditional target-man type striker.

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The 29-year-old has racked up impressive returns for Dinamo Zagreb. (Getty Images)

With the Spaniard failing to make any sort of an impact, Clotet has been forced to use Kerim Mrabti to partner Jutkiewicz in a two-man strike force up top. 

That ploy, too, has failed to pay dividends, and while latest recruit Jeremie Bela is expected to play a substantial role in the coming months, one does get the feeling that the Blues might still need to dip into the market for further reinforcements in a bid to achieve a better scoring record.

yes, Bela is an explosive attacker with a lot of pedigree but it won’t be a bad idea for City to reignite their interest in Mario Gavranovic, who has scored 5 times in 21appearances across all competitions for Dinamo Zagreb this term.

The 22-cap Swiss international failed to make a big impact at Schalke and Mainz in the German Bundesliga but a tally of 37 goals in 110 appearances for Zurich on return to his homeland resurrected his career before he established himself as a free-scoring forward at Rijeka in the Croatian top-flight.

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Gavranovic has 22 caps for Switzerland at the senior international level (Getty Images)

Impressive return of 40 goals and 13 assists in 80 appearances for Rijeka paved the way for a move to giants Dinamo Zagreb in January 2018. While a tally of 26 goals and 13 assists in 76 appearances suggests that he hasn’t fired on all cylinders, those are good numbers, nonetheless.

Mario Gavranovic, who has plied his trade with various clubs in the top divisions in Switzerland, Germany and Croatia, boasts of an impressive strike rate in his career, and a good CV that includes the experience of playing in European competitions.

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All in all, Birmingham City going back in the market for Mario Gavranovic in January could pay off handsomely for Clotet.

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Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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