It could be a case of ‘One man in, one man out’ at St Andrew’s.
Having today completed the signing of Jake Clarke-Salter on a season-long loan from Chelsea, the Blues could be about to lose a member of an already thin squad. The Sky Sports transfer centre reported yesterday that Ipswich Town are eyeing up a move for Birmingham’s 23-year-old right-back Josh Cogley.
Cogley has found game time a little bit hard to come by in recent seasons, with Frenchman Maxine Colin ahead of him in the pecking order, as he started 43 of the 46 Championship games last season. Cogley did get a few games in 2016/17 under the stewardship of Gianfranco Zola but since then has only made four more league appearances.
However, I think that Birmingham need to be very careful about loaning Cogley out. As I said earlier, the squad is pretty thin at the moment, and they need to get the balance exactly right between letting someone go out for experience (which he does need, I’m not going to argue that), but also leaving yourself too vulnerable if your squad is hit with a plague of injuries and suspensions.
Newly appointed Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi recently said that the Championship is like a marathon, and he’s right, you need a big squad if you are going to deal with all that it entails. Then there are the cup competitions on top of it, if you do reasonably well, you could end up playing north of 50 games.
This loan would be a great move for him, if he ends up the first choice in East Anglia then he could be getting 45+ games under his belt and be ready to compete for a spot at St Andrew’s in 2020, but Birmingham need to make sure that they have an adequate depth at the right-back position before sending him out on loan. If that means dipping into the academy to find some cover, or by getting someone on loan from another club then so be it, just make sure you get the balance perfect, or it could come back to bite you.