Date: 16th January 2017 at 7:23pm
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With a career spanning fifteen years and 491 appearances, Wayne Routledge carries experience in abundance. The 32-year-old has represented nine clubs yet has never played below the second tier.

After hearing today of Birmingham City’s flirtatious attempt to lure him away from South Wales, I began scrutinising his career to date.

Although the £3 million figure being bandied about seems a little steep for a player approaching his twilight years (the most extravagant transfer fee previously paid for Routledge was £2.76m), let’s consider the bigger picture. Routledge would be a coup, albeit not one for the longer term. Blues’ squad has obvious shortcomings in wide areas, a void that Routledge can fill. The word ‘quality’ is used too often in football but Routledge is, essentially, a quality left winger.

With his current club, Swansea City, struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League, Routledge will aim to prove himself to their manager, Paul Clement, who picked him in the starting line-up for Saturday’s trouncing at home to Arsenal. While Blues’ enquiry is very ambitious, striking a deal isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

The aforementioned Clement has transfer intentions of his own as he looks to steer the Swans to safety. Routledge is under contract at the Liberty Stadium until June 2018 meaning the club’s hierarchy may be tempted to take the money and use it towards their own January dealings, rather than lose him for free next summer.

Routledge is certainly superior to the players Gianfranco Zola presently has at his disposal. Time will tell whether Zola can engineer such a bold transfer. Nonetheless, merely being linked with players of this ilk is intriguing and a colossal transformation when compared to previous transfer windows.

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