Often Partisan

Koby Arthur On His Way?

Hereisthecity.com are reporting that Koby Arthur has rejected two contract offers from Birmingham City and is looking to move on from the club. The teenager has made twelve appearances for the club and was thought to have a bright future at St Andrew’s.

Although Koby is out of contract as he is under 24 there would be compensation payable from any club that wishes to sign him as Blues have offered him a contract equal to or better than the contract that is expiring.

With Demarai Gray looking increasingly like he is also leaving – he too has not signed a new deal and to me it seems that the noises from St Andrew’s have been with the intent of triggering an auction – I can understand why fans are feeling worried that young players will not stick with the club.

In Arthur’s case a career which started with much promise seems to have stalled somewhat of late. A loan spell at Cheltenham where he scored four goals in eight games for League Two side Cheltenham seemed to have reignited the spark but he fell in the pecking order after injury and it appeared that he had not progressed from that early promise.

As much as I hate to see younger players leave I don’t think we can stop them if they think their career is better served elsewhere. It’s a tricky decision for players and in honesty one that I would advise much caution of as I think it’s just as difficult for a young player to establish themselves elsewhere as it is at Blues – as no doubt young Foday Nabay would agree.

I’ve seen remarks in some quarters that Blues manager Gary Rowett is too cautious with younger players and that with the pathway to the first team stifled then it gives less incentive for younger players to stay. If I’m honest, I don’t believe for one second that is true – I’m 100% sure if a young player is good enough then they will get into the team.

While I’ve seen young players do well for the Development Squad I’m well aware that the gulf in class between that and the Championship is huge and as such a good performance against an u21 side or a local team in the Senior Cup may well not translate to a good performance in the rough and tumble of the second tier.

If Koby does decide to go it just means that there is more opportunity for the players beneath him such as Viv Solomon-Otabor to make the step up – and as such the circle of footballing life continues. While it’s disappointing to see a talent move on it doesn’t mean there isn’t talent within the Academy to replace it and it could be that Solomon-Otabor ends up being a better prospect – we don’t know.

Note on Commenting

I wanted to take the opportunity on this story to note to commenters that any form of politics of any persuasion has no place on this site and will be deleted. Commenting on OP is not a right – it’s a privilege that is granted and should I feel that I’m wasting too much time moderating people who can’t listen to the rules it’s a privilege I will revoke.

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70 Responses to “Koby Arthur On His Way?”

  • Peter Bates says:

    Don’t know if it’s true but I heard foday nabays parents wanted him back at blues and asked the club if they could help so the grass is not always greener on the other side kro

    • oldburyblue says:

      Would be strange that PB as I understood that his parents were the main reason that he moved in the first place, More what was in it for them rather than Foday.

    • almajir says:

      I’ve heard that rumour too.

    • MA24 says:

      Might seem like a childish comment from me – But I wouldn’t really want to see Foday Nabay back at blues. After reading what Blues had done for him and his family and for him to opt to leave to a then premier league team with dollar signs in his eyes, I don’t think he deserves the opportunity.
      If he came back got into the first team and was deemed better than any youth player ever to come out of blues, do you really think he’d stay if a better offer came in? – No loyalty, could easily have made his first team debut the season he left.

      • MA24 says:

        Also – if he’s no where near Fulhams U18s, would he be ready for our first team??!

  • Blue Steve says:

    I am going to offer, probably an unpopular opinion. If Koby leaves then we can just replace him with someone of comparable ability that is also out of contract. We should only offer Koby what we think he is worth. We should try to retain our better academy players of course but only be on a wage that is proportionate to their ability. In my opinion we are so desperate for a local brumie lad to do well that we uses ourhearts more than our heads.

    • oldburyblue says:

      There can be no doubt as to Koby’s talent so why has he not progressed? If GR cannot sort him out perhaps another Manager can?

  • Matt says:

    Any ideas on which clubs are after him?

  • Old Phil says:

    Sounds more like an agent getting in his ear than anything – how many of these ‘talents’ have actually gone on to make an impact elsewhere?

  • Zulublue says:

    Let’s be honest about it,
    Koby Arthur & Demarai Gray ain’t the be all end all.
    If they think they can do bigger & better than play for a club like blues then let them Piss off !!
    Remember Redmond, Butland & Tom Adeyemi ??
    They ain’t exactly set the world alight have they. Just get some decent money for them both & let GR spend it on a couple of quality replacements.
    Players come & go , but the club will always be there. K.R.O

  • Teerev says:

    Lets be realistic here.Not one player who left after our 2 great years in the prem,9th then the carling cup, have really gone on to better things.Redmond is an ok championship player,Butland is whatever.Gardner and larsson must love relegation battles..etc etc..! If Bournemouth really did offer 5mil for Gray,not only would i have ripped their hands off,i would send them a thank you card!!!

  • Ken says:

    Will our season next year hinge on whether Koby Arthur is here or not? Probably not. He’s fallen down the pecking order from when GR came…if he feels he can do better elsewhere then good luck to him

  • Sean says:

    Lets consider Koby wants first team football at a lower level he has to be commended for that in my opinion

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Although Arthur played a couple of games when Rowett first took over, he’s not had a sniff of a game since. Not just him, but every other young player (except for Gray, but he was already established.) Whether young players get as much of a chance under Rowett, as they did the previous manager, remains to be seen. I think he has a target for next season and I think that’s the top 6 (let’s face it, we only have to improve by 4 places) and I think he’s going to be looking more for ready-made first team players to form a tight, compact squad.

  • FellowBlue says:

    Does anyone have any idea roughly how much compensation we would get for Gray if we were to keep him until his contract runs out? I’ve no idea myself but if I was GR I would be trying to persuade the board that keeping him to help try and land the PL big bucks is worth it if we will get a half decent amount next summer anyway.
    I cant see him staying or us going up anyway but we have to dream as fans don’t we :)
    As for Koby, whatever he decides and wherever he plays – good luck to the lad – he may grow into a decent championship player but I don’t think he is ready for a regular first team spot yet. I would like him to stay and progress at blues but only for the right money. KRO.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I agree staffs that next season we want players ready for first team action no matter what age they are…. Koby Arthur is not ready for Blues so if he wants to go then so be it and I wish him luck … Gray flatters to deceive most games I’ve seen and that’s most of them so if he goes I won’t be panicking either , to be honest mate I wouldn’t put the pair of them any where near the first 11 but that’s my opinion so if they want to go then let’s take the money and get players who want to play for Blues and not just the money! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I have to be honest, if both Gray and Arthur left, I wouldn’t shed any tears. I don’t think we’d have too much trouble replacing them with more effective players. For me, we need good solid dependable players, then we can let the kids develop over the next season or two, getting them ready for the first team. But, saying that, you have to give the kids a chance here and there, let them see a light at the end of the tunnel, or they’ll look for it elsewhere.

  • Blue Steve says:

    Have to also agree with the above comments re:gray. if Bournemouth are willing to play £5 million I would take it. GR may not see all of the money but it may allow us to pay Tesche 20 k a week and bring in Fabrini and Kiernan to. With these signings we may not be to far off the top 6.

  • andy says:

    I am of a different opinion to most, Blues must do everything they can to hold onto Dimmi, he is an excellent player who will get frighteningly better! As for Koby Arthur, Rowett rates the kid highly and I am sure, given a good pre-season, Arthur will be in the team next season. It would be a real pity to lose these young players because after all, they are the future of the football club.

  • Dave Mann says:

    andy, there only the future if they want yo stay but it not let’s take the money and do what Blue Steve said and get in Fabbrini, Tesche and kiernan.. There’s no loyalty these days with young players as some of them just want the big wages and warm premier benches ….. Gray and Arthur are years away from premier class and if they leave then that’s there problem not ours as I don’t think it will matter next season as I still think we can push for the playoffs more so with the three loanes than with the two want aways! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If someone offers £6m+ add-ons for Gray, I’d snatch their hand off. Rowett wouldn’t get all of the cash, but I’m pretty sure that £1.5/2m would make the difference between 10th place and the top 6. I’d give a big thumbs up to that.

      • steve says:

        Disagree Staffs. ” mill is nowhere near enough to get top 6. That wouldn’t even cover the wages. Without new investment,i see a similar season to this last one. As for Gray and Arthur,if they want to go,let em go.

        • steve says:

          2 mill

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Not sure about that steve. How much did we spend last season to finish 10th? Not a lot tbf. I reckon £1.5/2m on top of last year’s budget is better than a kick in the goolies.

          • steve says:

            Cause it is Staffs,but i think it will be a lot more to get top 6. Whoever comes down i think will take 3 of those places and there are a lot of better teams than us at the moment.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            There are better teams than us every year steve… but according to a lot of Blues fans, there were about 22 teams better than us last season, but we still finished 10th on a budget of peanuts. I think with players gone, the wage bill cut and a couple of mill added on to the budget, we’ll do pretty well I think.

          • steve says:

            Players will be going, ok. But that still won’t leave a lot to play with.. I certainly don’t think we will struggle next season,but with our finances at the moment i expect a top half finish and not much else. I saw the other night the mail did a piece on the free transfers available from the prem next season.We have no chance of getting them. Even the players released from Championship sides will probably be on more than we can offer.

  • Let’s hope this is not another case of of andy johnson sold for a song ,worth £8 million soon after or ,palacios we could have bought for £1million but didn’t ,moved on, sold for£6 million , and on , it doesn’t matter how good you are if you lack incentive you lose the drive to succeed , this is what owners of football clubs need to learn , that just because a player wears a number on his back you should never treat him as just a number if you want the best out of him , young players like koby should be brought on as a sub a minute before the end in every match that we are winning , and the same with brown ect

  • Mitchell says:

    Koby Arthur is not a loss. Gray perhaps. Morrison, Keirnan and Tesche ok but not a headache losing them. Fresh faces and fresh hope with summer additions. What would be a problem if we lost GR to a rival. I can accept Top clubs coming in for players and managers, but the likes of Reading for Keirnan, Brentford for Arthur and Fulham in for Gray. Well that’s a different matter.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I have posted before that we need to stop the haemorrhaging of our good young players.
    We need to retain the services of Gray in particular if we have any pretensions of challenging for promotion next season. Gray has the X factor and is different class to any other player on the books and will only get better.

  • Matt says:

    On his day, Dimmi can beat any of the championship full backs. I feel too many people forget he is 18 and this is his first proper season in the championship. Do our best to keep him and only let him go if he actually says he would like to go.
    If Koby feels his time is better served else where then I think its best we let him, I think he’s a decent player but championship at best. In Gary we trust, would love to see Tesche back at the club!

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Matt….By the same token Arthur is only 19 and still developing. Viv Solomon-Otabor is 19 too.
      I would love it for one or both them to become a first team regular next season.

  • Dave mann says:

    Richard, only if there ready would I put those two in but there not so there’s no chance of seeing either of them next season when rowett will want to better 10th place … Don’t get me wrong about our young players I would love to see them all stay but ime for the here and now and I want a winning team yesterday and next season is a big one for us with what’s going on so let’s see what the summer brings and be more optemistic about our chances when the new season kicks off !! Kro

    • Richard Granfield says:

      Dave….It could have been argued that this time a year ago that Gray might not have been ready to cement a first team slot. He proved doubters wrong and I hope Arthur, Solomon-Otobor and Brown prove doubters wrong too.

      • Dave mann says:

        True though I think Gray should not be in our first team but again that’s my opinion . Kro

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m afraid I have to agree with Dave on this one. I don’t think Gray is consistent enough yet to warrant a regular place. A couple of fancy step-overs doesn’t warrant it. He needs more end product to his game. In approx. 25 league games (+13 as sub) he scored 6 goals (3 in one game) and how many assists? Not many I wouldn’t think. He needs to up that a fair bit to deserve a regular place imo. Maybe he’ll do that this season.. if he stays.

          • atko says:

            He’ll be even less consistent next season when most teams double up on him. This was his first season so a few teams might have got caught out but they don’t fall for it again. That goes for bigger players than Gray. I remember even Ryan Giggs back in his second season was nowhere near as effective as he was his first. Happens to them all when they get found out. I don’t think it is beneficial to want to keep him if he wants to go anyway. We need players who are committed & want to be at Blues so if he wants to go, let him go.

  • Dave mann says:

    I truly hope he stays and proves to me what a great player he could be next season … If he stays . Kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Rumours are that Fulham are interested in Gray. Why would he moved to a club that finished 11 points and 7 places below us? There’s the money… but no, surely he wouldn’t? Would he?

  • Dave mann says:

    If he should go to Fulham then the lad lacks ambition as well as brains .. But it’s London calling and all young people thinks it’s the bees knees .. Even going to Bournemouth who are in the premiership next season would be a bad move do Fulham would be .. We’ll I’ve already said!! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Would going to Bournemouth show ambition? I’d be surprised if they weren’t back in the Championship next year. If Gray is going to move, he may as well stay put and wait for the better clubs to come in… maybe he’ll be worth more by then too. That would be a win/win for both the player and BCFC.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Gray has said he wants first team football. He would get it at Blues, Bournemouth and Fulham.
    He wouldn’t get it at Liverpool and Manchester United. Liverpool already have players of similar styles to Gray in Ibe and Sterling and if Angel Di Maria can’t get into the United team then Gray wouldn’t.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      If all he wants is first team football, then why hasn’t he signed? He has that already. The contract has been on the table for quite a while now. He’s had long enough. For me, he’s keeping his options open.. bigger club, more money would be my guess.

    • steve says:

      Richard If he goes to United or Liverpool,we might get him back on Loan. Staffs,i wouldn’t back against Bournemouth staying up. Very good manager and the owners have money. Also,your Bournemouth predictions are not very good :)

    • atko says:

      If Sterling goes…as is expected, it will be announced Friday….then there is every chance Liverpool might come in for Gray as they have been keen for a while!

  • Dave Mann says:

    Bournemouth and Fulham would be a bad move for Gray as both clubs are smaller than us but who else would play him on a regular basis in the premier league .. No one so it’s over to you mr Gray .. Use your bunce . Kro

  • andy says:

    I am afraid it is the players’ agent who calls the shots and contracts remain unsigned or rejected

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m afraid that if I claimed to love a club so much, I’d tell the agent to do one. Player/Employer. Agent/ Employee.

      • steve says:

        Staffs, i love the Blues but if i was offered a club in the prem on more money then i’d go. Doesn’t matter who you support or if you love the club. It’s a job.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Fair enough steve. I wouldn’t personally. I can’t think of anything better than playing for your hometown club… but that’s just personal choice.

          • steve says:

            If your’e a footballer,it’s about earning as much money as you can in the short career you have.All loyalties go out of the window. Ask Craig Gardner.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            That’s basically why I have no loyalty towards players. They come and go, no big deal… there’ll be another one along in an hour lol.

    • steve says:

      If he still has a year left then surely it’s up to us where he goes next season. It’s whether we’re prepared to take a chance on him going for free next season. Personally i think if he won’t sign now,then he will be gone.

  • andy says:

    Maybe it is a stark reminder of where Blues are financially at this moment in time we cannot compete with a number of clubs

  • andy says:

    Dan was actually talking about Arthur in this piece so he is maybe assuming that is who you are talking about Steve, but no Gray does have 12 months of his contract to run it is Arthur who is out of contract in June.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    According to the BM, Rowett has made a move for Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, but faces competition from Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Wigan. If his wage demands aren’t too bad, we might stand a chance, as we finished above all three.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      BM today reckons we’re interested in taking Tottenham’s midfield youngster Dele Alli on loan for next season. He’s had a great year on loan at MK Dons and, at a goal every 2.7 games, would be a good addtion I think.

  • swissjonny says:

    Both Gray and Arthur are both professional footballers.At age 19 they have probably about 13 or 14 years to make the money that will keep them and their families for the rest of their lives.They may develop careers after they have retired but looking at the facts its unlikely.You cant really blame them for trying to maximise the money earned through their window of opportunity.What irritates me iis the exodus of top players to the USA.The majority of these guys have already made enough dosh for 3 lifetimes.In the old days those who wanted and could keep playing came down the leagues and were a real help in terms of both ability and experience to smaller clubs such as us in our current predicament.In recent times we have profitted from Steve Bruce and the short haired centre forward goal machine whose name Ive currently forgotten! Years ago we got Colin Todd..It would have been good to have had a Lampard or a Gerrard at the club sharing their experiences on and off the pitch.It would also have been good for these individuals to give something back.

  • swissjonny says:

    Someone pls help me with that blokes name Kevin-I want to say Francis but he was about 6 foot taller.Its going to irritate me all day!!

  • swissjonny says:

    Phillips!!!! Im not senile yet!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Amari’i Bell being released now. So, with Bell gone and Hancox not flavour of the year, we definitely need, at least, one new left back.


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