Birmingham City certainly aren’t messing around.
Having made some fantastic moves already, they are close to signing Real Madrid’s young goalkeeper Mohamed Ramos, with the 19-year-old reportedly in attendance for the Blues’ 4-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. Speaking to BirminghamLive on the matter, boss Pep Clotet gave a brief outline about what he expects from the young Spaniard.
“I think he’s going to work with us, with our goalkeeping department. They work very well together, our under 23s and our first team. Everyone has a different level of progression in their development. He will add and improve options in there, even for our own goalkeepers.”
However, what does this mean for those that are already here?
I’ve always maintained that your backup goalkeeper can be one of two things. A veteran who is just happy to sit there and collect a paycheck whilst getting the odd cup game, like Willy Caballero at Chelsea. Or an up and comer who will learn from the number one and be ready to take his place eventually like Arijanet Muric at Manchester City (before his loan move to Forest).
The fact that Clotet talks about the Under 23’s indicates to me that Ramos isn’t coming in to be the Blues number one straight away, and with BirminghamLive talking about ‘cover and competition’, indicates that he won’t be sent directly to the academy and be forgotten about. He’ll be in the first-team picture, but not an instant starter.
That means he’ll fall nicely into the ‘up and coming’ category that I mentioned above. Both Lee Camp and David Stockdale’s contracts expire next summer, so you can see where a potential line of succession can be created. However, do you really need both Camp and Stockdale at the same time if their futures are written on the wall?
I have spoken before about the situation at the club, and the fans themselves have made their stance pretty clear on where they stand over the issue. With Clotet talking recently about adding to a thin roster, I think that you can add to it by subtracting. If you move Camp on now, who has a value of £450k, you can use that money and his wages to bring in a couple more players (either permanently or on loan) to help bolster the squad.
That then leaves David Stockdale, the statistically better goalkeeper free reign to focus on this season and for the club to get as much as they can out of him this season, before Ramos ascends to the throne next summer.