The Blues could be playing a dangerous game with this one.
Football Insider are reporting that Birmingham are in the process of organising a new contract for 30-year-old Lukas Jutkiewicz. And after his performances last year, I think it’s safe to say that he deserves it.
Jutkiewicz has been a pretty decent signing since he joined the Blues in 2016. 32 goals and 16 assists in his 124 appearances for the club certainly isn’t setting the world on fire, but for a team that is in the mid to lower part of the Championship table, it’s enough to keep plodding along at a steady pace.
However, whether or not this is a good deal will all depend on the length of the deal, and if there is a good succession plan for him. At 30, he has just reached the golden age where clubs start to offer one-year deals for players. As much as I think that Jutkiewicz is an OK player for this level, he’s no Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Don’t expect him to just conjure up a boatload as the big Swede did back in 2016/17. So if this is a one-year deal then I’m fine with that, but if it’s any longer, then the club needs to have a long term strategy to make sure he is replaced, rather than simply relying on him for goals until the end of time.
To do that they need to be bringing in another, younger striker to take some of the strain off him. The current City situation doesn’t look too good at the moment. With only two men who you would consider out and out forwards, Jutkiewicz, Isaac Vassel, and the latter isn’t exactly pulling up trees at the moment. Vassell, granted he was hampered by a knee injury last year, didn’t score a single goal in his 14 appearances. Even Kerim Mrabti, while predominantly a midfielder, was often utilised as a forward last year, and he only managed one goal and one assist after his move from Djurgardens. This just shows the lack of depth that Birmingham have at their disposal.
Sign Jutkiewicz if you want, sign him for five years for all I care, but if you don’t sign someone to take his place for when he’s gone, either this year or further down the line, then that spells serious trouble for the Blues.