Date: 19th January 2017 at 8:01pm
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From day one, Gianfranco Zola admitted that he would bide his time in the January transfer window while he delves around for the ‘right type of player’. And while us Bluenose began getting twitchy bum syndrome over the lack of activity, this week hasn’t disappointed.

A solid base point was put in place when loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz signed a permanent deal from Burnley. A million other players were linked with the club before Craig Gardner became the second signing from West Bromwich Albion – a loan deal with a permanent deal already agreed for the summer.

Rene Krhin had a deal agreed, personal terms and medical done. His reluctance to commit to uprooting his young family led to Zola rightly pulling the plug.

Tabloids, social media sites and forums continued to throw the names at us – an endless list of rumour and hearsay. Apparently , Max from the White Swan knows the tea ladies son-in-law who often drinks with Zola’s dogs vet…

Amid all the speculation, Blues completed their third signing of the window when Emilio Nsue swapped Middlesbrough for Birmingham. He was shortly followed by Cheick Keita from Virtus Entella of Italy`s second tier today.

And, at the time of writing, Vital Blues understands that Besiktas winger Kerim Frei, formerly of Fulham, has agreed to join the club. A striker, a right back, left back, a winger and a proven central midfielder.

It’s been a tidy window for Zola. After remaining patient, the signings have eventually been pushed over the line. A breakdown of his spending is below.

Jutkiewicz – £1m
Gardner – £1.3m (after loan)
Nsue – £1m
Keita – £1.5m
Frei – £2.3m
TOTAL – £7.1m

Zola has received more financial support than the previous three managers but arguably has a more detailed remit with the changing style of play dictating that signings were essential. Now he’s been backed, results must follow shortly.

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