Date: 30th July 2019 at 8:00pm
Written by: Mark Day

Some more continental flair is set to find its way to B9 in the coming days.

Reports are coming in from Spain that Las Palmas midfielder Mateo Gracia is set for a medical at St Andrew’s. The move has quite possibly been done on the advice of Pep Clotet’s backroom staff. Garcia spent some time under assistant Paco Herrera both at Aris Thessaloniki and Las Palmas.

My initial impressions are that you hope this guy becomes a ‘late bloomer’, because going off his stats across his whole career, he doesn’t exactly strike me as someone who can have an instant impact this season unless there are some changes along the way. Whilst he is a winger by trade, I think it would be better if there’s a switch in position if and when he makes the move to Birmingham.

Whoscored has noted that his weaknesses include crosses, so I wouldn’t be expecting him to be floating many up for Lukas Jutkiewicz at the back post to nod in. They do however list dribbling as one of his strengths, which in my mind means a change of position for him.

If we believe that Birmingham are going to go with a 3-4-2-1 formation, then if you put him behind Jutkiewicz in the number ten role, it gives him the ability to run at the heart of the opposition defence.

Whilst he may not be an out and out goalscorer, he has added finishing to his game in the past year by scoring ten goas when he was on loan at Aris Thessaloniki. So if you play him off a big physical centre-forward like Jutkiewicz, then you’ve got the potential for the next Owen and Heskey type partnership.

It seems obvious by the players that Pep Clotet has brought in this summer that he is looking to play an attractive style of football. With recent additions Jake Clarke-Salter and Dan Crowley both getting praised for their passing abilities, and Ivan Sunjic having a pass completion rate of 91% in this summer’s European U21 Championships, add to that Garcia’s dribbling, and there’s a nice side coming along.

It may take some time for them to fully get up to speed, we know about the difficulties of adjusting to English football when coming from a foreign league. When it does all come together though, my word Birmingham fans are going to be in for a treat.

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