It was not a surprise to see their names on the retained list last week, but the futures of four loanees Robert Tesche, Diego Fabbrini, Greg Stewart and Nicolai Brock-Madsen are still very much in the air.
Yesterday, the Birmingham Mail revealed that the Danish striker would be returning to us after talks with Cracovia Krakow to extend his stay in Poland came to nothing. That followed off the back of an article in La Nueva Espana last week that suggested that Real Oviedo may not look to sign Fabbrini permanently.
The Italian has expressed a desire to remain in Spain, but the Segunda Division side have not told the player that they want to see him return to the club for a second spell.
In Tesche’s case, Bochum are believed to be very keen to sign the German but they don’t have the funds to sign him. With Stewart, he didn’t have the best of times at Aberdeen and it was announced at the beginning of June by the Dons that he was returning to the Blues.
So what happens now then? It’s very likely that all four will start pre-season under Garry Monk. It will be a fresh start for all of them, but not all will be thinking of fighting for their first team place with us.
In both Fabbrini and Tesche’s case, it’s likely that they are keener to leave rather than stay to try and impress a new manager. With Stewart and Brock-Madsen, it seems we may find it hard to offload them.
I’m sure that the boss will want to assess them all and see them in action on the training pitch regardless. Personally, I don’t think any of them really have a chance of making it back into our first-team plans.
With Tesche, he’s too similar to many of the options we have in the squad already. Fabbrini would offer something a bit different but his lack of end product and the fact he’s coming off the back of a serious knee injury makes me believe he won’t be someone that Monk will want to keep around, especially if he has his sights on a move to Spain.
In Stewart’s case, the 28-year-old just hasn’t been able to recapture the form at Dundee that led to us signing him in the first place. Despite regular first team action at Aberdeen, he managed four goals and four assists in 36 appearances with the majority being starts. He is unlikely to be anything other than an average understudy for Maghoma and Jota.
Lastly, in regards to Brock-Madsen, he hasn’t been given much of a chance at this club, and the manager will want to look at him at close quarters, but his one goal in Polish football in the second half of last campaign, does suggest he isn’t cut out for the Championship. We will find out more about the fate of these four as the summer progresses.