Date: 11th January 2017 at 4:30pm
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He is back where he belongs. Craig Gardner, one of our own, will once again wear the royal blue of Birmingham City. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since he departed as a cup winner in 2011. Ultimately, the high of beating Arsenal at Wembley to lift a major trophy with his boyhood club was overshadowed by relegation two months later.

Now 30, Gardner arrives back at St. Andrews with a lot of Premier League experience under his belt. Perhaps the Championship is now his level but it has been some time since Blues pulled off a signing of this ilk.

That may sound dramatic when teams in our division are spending millions on quality players. But for longer than I care to remember, we have relied on free transfers and loans – the likes of Brian Howard and Kyle Lafferty – to give us some hope of a creative spark. So in that respect, Gardner is a fantastic signing.

On paper, he’d walk straight into the Blues team and most other Championship teams. Yet his affiliation with the club makes this signing an emotional one as well as a good football one.

Gardner will give Blues’ midfield a balance. He’s neither a holding player nor a number ten. He’s simply a central midfield and a good one at that.

Welcome home Craig. We’ve missed you!

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