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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6 Replies to “Zola’s window of opportunity”

  • Reading between the lines of what the lady at the Chinese where Panos gets his takeaways Zola is looking for a right sided attacking midfielder, a central attacking midfielder come striker and a holding midfielder to play in front of the defence. This is an area where we don’t have enough protection and are conceding goals. Will he get his men?
    With whats been done up to now I expect two or three thousand more at the next home game.

  • I hope the new players get into thef irst eleven pronto. Then and only then can Zola’s reign be judged. We simply have to get behind our man and show him our support. These signings must spell the end of a terrible few years of dire football. Gardner,Nsue and at least another newcomer must be given ample time against Blackburn. ForgetFabbrini,Tesche and MK from the start.

  • Gazal / Brooklyn – I hear that, after Frei, one more may be coming in but that will conclude Zola’s dealings this month. Only results will increase attendances though. Playing all the new boys could see our line up like this (433) Kuszczak, Nsue, Shotton, Morrison, Keita, Davis, Gleeson, Gardner, Adams, Frei, Jutkiewicz

  • Someone to pick out a runner with a pass is needed otherwise we will be relying too much on pace and power. If its only one and I had to prioritise I would go central rather than a right winger. Cotteril is ok if he gets a service and we have some cover here with Viv, Maghoma and Stewart so the only area we are weak is down the middle either as an attacking style midfielder come playmaker or a striker.

  • Rob.Like your team Line-up. Pacy wing backs will make the difference. Do you think the exit door will now take its turn as I cannot see the old brigade staying. Obviously we need a strong bench and I would suggest-Cotterill,Cogley,Donaldson,Maghoma stay. Stewart I would imagine will return to Scotland with Tesche,Fabbrini and possibly MK moving on. Spector we all know about.

  • Brooklyn – Blues will listen to offers for Caddis and Brown may go on loan (only as a development plan though). That may be it for now but I wouldn’t be surprised in the summer to see Cotterill, Legzdins, Tesche, Stewart and a couple of others leave.

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