Reports are suggesting that Birmingham City will lose both Koby Arthur and Demarai Gray over the summer, leaving the club with a real headache over who will compete to play on the left side.
Koby Arthur has apparently rejected the club’s attempts to keep him in Birmingham. The youngster has been plagued with injuries towards the end of the season and had a successful spell out on loan.
It is also understood that there are plenty of clubs interested in taking Gray this summer. However due to the fact Birmingham are guaranteed compensation after his contract expires in a seasons time Rowett is willing to hold him here, unless he explicitly asks to leave.
The players’ wanting to leave most likely seems down to where they see their futures best placed. Gray is already in the first team and perhaps he doesn’t see what else he can achieve here? although I would question that, its a possibility that he is looking higher than he believes this club can go.
Arthur on the other hand may well be the same reason but I would heavily question that as he still hasn’t established himself here. I believe that this one could be about first team football.
When Rowett first arrived it was Arthur who was tipped to be involved but he then found himself back behind Gray and then off out on loan.
The taste of first team football may be what is taking Arthur away, if he envisages another season on the fringes of the squad then it may be this that is motivating him to leave.
In terms of their age and likely earning potential it is unlikely this is over pay packages and Birmingham being unable to compete. It’s much more than that, two players trying to push their careers further.
Demarai Gray is very much a hot topic right now, the 18 year old has already made 48 league appearances for Birmingham – scoring 7 goals.
Arthur on the other hand still has a way to go, the Ghanaian national has made just 12 appearances for Blues and has spent loan spells with Lincoln and Cheltenham; the latter being the more successful.
Can Blues hold onto Gray? for another year perhaps, but if he asks to leave Rowett may well show him the door.
As for Arthur, if the reports are true then there is still time for Rowett to sit down and have an honest talk about the opportunities he may have available here in the coming season.
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