Never too early to look towards the future.
This isn’t going to be an article where I voice my opinion on the matter. I’m just going to present you guys and girls with the facts and let you fight it out amongst yourselves.
I spoke yesterday about Jonathan Grounds being brought back into the fold after his lengthy spells away from St Andrew’s, both with his loan to Bolton Wanderers and then the injury he picked up in pre-season.
Today though I want to talk about another defender and whether or not we’re likely to see him pull on the Blues shirt for the senior team anytime soon, Geraldo Bajrami. Yesterday was his 20th birthday, so I feel like it’s a good time to start bringing his name up when it comes to talking about the first team.
He has received a few plaudits from supporters during his time at St Andrew’s and the fact he has been given the armband for the U23s shows that he has a level of maturity and that the coaches can trust him to command a team.
When you add that to the fact he signed a new two-year contract in the summer, there is clearly some expectation from those in the club that he has a future at the club, but should we have to wait much longer before we start seeing him becoming a first-team regular.
We have seen already this season that Clotet isn’t exactly scared to dip into the academy when he wants/has to, as the development of Jude Bellingham has proved, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility that we can see him at some point this season. Given how thin we are at centre-back as well, all it will take is a couple of injuries or suspensions before we find ourselves in a position of playing him out of necessity rather than personal preference.
What about you? Do you think that we will be seeing the young Albanian in the first tea sooner rather than later? Or do you think he has a few more steps to take in his development before we see him get a chance?