Better late than never I suppose.
Birmingham City have today completed the loan signing of Jake Clarke-Salter from Chelsea.
Clarke-Salter was on the verge of signing for Birmingham back in 2017, when Harry Redknapp was in charge, but an injury to Carl Jenkinson meant that they were forced to look for his replacement rather than following through with the young Chelsea man.
In a rare occurrence, the news first went round on social media before it got some credibility from the press. Matt Law of The Daily Telegraph making the news ‘official’ that Birmingham were in pole position to sign the 21-year-old defender, prior to his signing today.
Clarke-Salter has got plenty of experience at first-team football, having had loan spells at Bristol Rovers, Sunderland and more recently Vitesse Arnhem. So it isn’t as if they’d be taking on some inexperienced youngster who has yet to prove himself at senior level.
Whilst a few Sunderland fans haven’t exactly given him a glowing report based on his time there, he was part of a very poor Sunderland side, so it’s easy to be labelled terrible in a side that finished rock bottom of the league that year. Although his disciplinary record wasn’t the greatest during such a short spell at The Stadium Of Light, so hopefully he’s developed a little bit more since then.
I’m not going to criticise this move one bit. He is everything that Birmingham City need at the moment. The squad is practically at breaking point as it stands, and needs as many bodies as they can get, be they on loan or on free transfers, but loans are a good start. Plus when you consider how the Blues have been left cash strapped as a result of recent seasons, then getting in as many bodies as you can for the cheapest amount.
Let’s not forget that this is a good side, last season’s finish was a false one because of the points deduction and whilst a move like this won’t replace the 22 goals that Che Adams brought to the team last year, it will go some way to helping out a defence that conceded fewer goals than two of the teams that finished in the playoffs.