Date: 11th January 2017 at 4:11pm
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Following the announcement that Birmingham City have signed West Bromwich Albion midfielder Craig Gardner on loan for the rest of the season, I thought it would be a good idea to analyse where he actually fits in at the club.

As I mentioned in the last week or so, Blues currently have five first team midfielders at their disposal, six now former League Cup winner Gardner has been brought in, but what does Gianfranco Zola intent to do with him is the main question I`d like answers to.

Although I can`t really answer them myself, I believe I may be able to work some aspects of the deal out.

Zola has clearly brought Gardner in to add that little bit more threat in front of goal from the midfield trio that he likes to deploy.

Last week in the draw against Newcastle United, Blues` midfielders David Davis, Maikel Kieftenbeld and Stephen Gleeson were fantastic so Gardner may actually have to bide his time.

However, the reason why Zola has brought the 30-year-old into the club is so that he can make an instant impact. Whether he will do that straight away or not is beyond anyone`s thinking really because players can have different impacts at different times.

The move is a smart one because Gardner does improve the attacking threat in front of goal from the midfield because we all know he is quite fond of a banger in front of the Tilton but I also believe there is more to the move than that.

It is well documented by many in the footballing world that Baggies boss Tony Pulis is a master of setting his team up for defensively solidity and with Gardner potentially having learnt a few things off Pulis in the last few years, Zola will be hoping he can add to what he is looking for in midfield.

Albeit, Gardner probably won`t sit in front of the back four like Gleeson did against the Magpies last weekend but he will be able to rotate in the trio that is usually in the middle of the park and that is what we really need.

Personally, I couldn`t turn round and say I know who Zola is going to pick as his strongest three midfielders because we don`t know what happens at the training ground.

However I, like most others, would have a pretty strong idea of how Blues could potentially line up.

With Gardner now at his disposal, I believe that Zola will mainly choose between him, Davis and Gleeson, although Kieftenbeld would be my preferred choice.

Blues fans, out of the six midfielders that Gianfranco Zola can now choose from, who do you think he will opt for against Nottingham Forest this weekend? Let us know in the comment section down below!

 
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