It wouldn’t be transfer deadline day if there wasn’t some form of delay to proceedings somewhere in the country.
Unfortunately, it looks as if Birmingham City fell victims to it this year. According to BBC Sport, the Blues were made to wait for the deadline day signing of Jefferson Montero to come through from Swansea. Whilst the deal was apparently agreed before the 5pm deadline on Thursday, there are a few issues with the paperwork.
Better late than never though, today the club announced that the deal had gone through, as the Ecuadorian signed on a season-long loan deal. It’s something that Blues fans are used to this summer, having to wait for the red tape to be properly organised before being made official, with Ivan Sunjic and his wait for ‘international clearance’.
I think this deal is a bit of a weird one. Not because I think he’s a bad player, I’m one of those fools that still thinks he can reproduce that fantastic performance for Swansea at Stamford Bridge from a few years ago every now and then, but because I’m not entirely sure where he would play in the current setup.
Given how Birmingham look to be shaping up this season, in a 3-4-2-1 formation, there’s no space for him ‘naturally’. He has predominantly played on the wing for the majority of his career, and whilst he has dabbled with other positions along the way, the rest of the line-up is pretty much set.
With Fran Villalba and Dan Crowley taking up the attacking midfield options behind Lukas Jutkiewicz, and Ivan Sunjic playing in the centre alongside one of David Davis, Agustin Medina, Craig or Gary Gardener there’s not really the option to play him centrally.
That means, if you want to make him a regular starter, you’ll have to force him into the left-wingback role. Whilst he can clearly fulfil the attacking aspect of it, with 31 goals and 35 assists to his name so far in his career, I’m not so sure he’d quite be able to pull off the defensive aspects of the position. Given that he averages less than one tackle per game, I don’t know if he’s someone you’d want to rely on to stop the opposing winger breathing down your neck every few minutes.
So after a couple of hours delay, the deal went through, fine. It’s another body to add to a squad that could still do with a little more players in a few positions to deal with the long Championship season ahead. However, I’m not going to hold my breath that he comes to St Andrew’s and sets the world alight.