Why Birmingham City should reignite their interest in Mateo Garcia
According to Birmingham Mail, Birmingham City have identified the striking department as an area which is in need of some investment.
The Blues brought in Alvaro Gimenez from Almeria as a part of their summer rebuild following the sale of last season’s top-scorer Che Adams to Southampton, but Clotet is apparently planning to dip into the market once again for a new striker following the 28-year-old’s slow start to life at St. Andrew’s.
Clotet, though, has made it clear that Lukas Jutkiewicz, who has netted 4 times in 14 league appearances this term, is very much central to his plans moving forward. (h/t Birmingham Mail)
Birmingham City have undergone a complete transformation in their style of play and philosophy under the stewardship of Pep Clotet, who took over the reins from Garry Monk in the summer.
The Blues endured a hit-and-miss start to the campaign which has seen them register 7 victories from their first 16 games, while losing 7 in the process.
That City’s scoring record of 16 goals so far has been bettered by all the teams above them in the standings clearly highlights their lack of attacking prowess.
Clotet has largely preferred a 4-4-2 system in the Championship this term, with Jutkiewicz and Gimenez/ Kerim Mrabti operating up top in front of a midfield four consisting of two central midfielders and two attacking midfielders playing out wide on either flank.
With Ivan Sunjic, Gary Gardner, David Davis and Jude Bellingham all in the mix, Clotet has had a plethora of central midfield options to choose from. However, the lack of top-quality out-and-out wingers has been one of the key takeaways from City’s start to the campaign.
Daniel Crowley, who came through the door in the summer as a No.10, has been deployed as more of an inside forward in a wide role on the right.
While he has chipped in with 3 assists so far, it is beyond doubt that his playmaking abilities could be better utilised in a more central role behind Jutkiewicz.
Fran Villalba, on the other hand, has established himself as a regular starter down the left ahead of Jefferson Montero in the pecking order.
A return of 1 goal in 12 appearances look unimpressive on paper but the Spaniard’s ability and potential have been quite apparent and it is just a matter of him improving on his end product.
Looking at the other wide options in the squad, Jacques Maghoma has a lot of experience but he seems to have lost a lot of sharpness at the age of 32.
Suffice to say, Birmingham City certainly need to bring in another striker in January but right-wing is also an area which is in need of some investment. To that end, reigniting interest in Argentinian winger Mateo Garcia could pay off handsomely.
According to a previous report from Spanish reports (h/t Birmingham Mail) during the summer, the Blues had been linked with a move for the diminutive 23-year-old left-footed ace, who was then plying his trade with Las Palmas in Spain.
However, City eventually opted to look for options elsewhere to bolster their squad while Mateo Garcia completed a move to Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade.
Now, three months into the ongoing campaign, the Argentinian has made an instant impact at Red Star Belgrade in the Serbian Super Liga, while also impressing in the UEFA Champions League.
The 23-year-old has scored thrice and assisted once in 11 appearances across all competitions and with Birmingham City struggling for pace and directness down the right flank pitch, it should be a no-brainer for the Blues to go back in the market for his services in January.
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All in all, Birmingham City revisiting their interest in the tricky winger could pay rich dividends.