Often Partisan

Blues Sign Young Striker

Birmingham City snapped up their first signing of the summer in former WBA Development Squad player Alex Jones. The 20-year-old had been trialling with Blues over the last few weeks of the season and his efforts have been rewarded with a two year deal at St Andrew’s.

Jones is an interesting signing in that Development Squad signings rarely ever get given more than twelve months to prove themselves yet Blues have given him two and a year’s option. Clearly the coaching staff at the club saw something they liked in the striker while he was on trial and have decided to take the plunge after WBA released him from their books.

Blues aren’t overly blessed up front; there are just three first team strikers in Donaldson, Thomas and Novak with Denny Johnstone also in the mix as a “promising youngster”. With the release of Luke Armstrong and George McGee Blues have to look to their new first year pros Kyle McFarlane and George O’Neill to be the spearhead of the u21 side and it makes sense to bring in a slightly older prospect who can act as back up for the first XI in the event of an injury crisis in the striker department.

Due to the sheer number of players that have had to be drafted into the first team squad from the reserves and academy over the past few years the U21 side has progressively become younger and I think since the departure of Clark there has been an assessment about looking to bring in players who bridge the gap between raw u18s and the hurly-burly of the Championship. Rowett has always been keen to stress about not bringing in players for the sake of it but I think the signing of Jones shows that there is room to bring in potential if it’s available.

I will be honest in saying that I’m interested this summer to see who Rowett takes away to the continental training camp – to see if there is room for a couple of promising players who maybe will make the step up in pre-season in support of the first XI; what I would love is if someone really impresses that they are then given a place in the matchday squad in the League Cup first round tie – particularly if we’re given a home tie against a team we really should beat.

What I’m hoping for isn’t a revolution where there is a team full of teenagers – but equally I would hate to see Blues returning to the days where there seemed to be a black hole between the reserves/academy and the first team squad.

Hopefully the signing of Jones is indicative that Blues are thinking long term – and are planning to build a team that grow together rather than one thrown together.

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31 Responses to “Blues Sign Young Striker”

  • AJ says:

    Rowett was interested in Jones when he managed Burton so he must believe that he can make the step up

  • Tony E says:

    I believe he was quite highly rated by previous Albion managers, clearly not by Pullis, let us hope he can fulfill his potential at Blues.

  • Andrew says:

    rowett has done well with what he has brought in so far

  • Roysie says:

    Looking at the photo in the Mail have Blues dug the pitch up again?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    i wish Alex well he could prove to be a better striker than Johnstone.

    • Mitchell says:

      It is great to see such optimism for next season, but my head tells me with the likes of QPR,Hull,Burnley,Derby, Forest and either Norwich/Middlesbrough..we will be in the mix of the likes of Wolves,Ipswich,Blackburn and Leeds. Good and realistic target will be 11th. If new owners came in and backed GR with a couple of quality players on perhaps 3year contracts, then all changes. Brentford is a good example.Almost a play off winning side but just lacking a couple of quality.
      New boy Alex Jones has to be treated with caution along with Denny Johnstone. They are squad players who can do a certain amount. Strong and bustling they are not and it will be difficult for them to get the better of uncompromising Championship defences. Both will be pleased to make the bench 7.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The young lad reckons he’s ready for the first team now. I hope he doesn’t get too disappointed. With Donaldson being our No.1 striker, I can’t see anyone else getting much of a look in, unless Rowett changes tactics and goes 2 up top… maybe 3-5-2.

  • Vicarpoof says:

    Nathan Delfouneso has been released by Blackpool, he was one of the young up and coming England players a few years ago. I know he was a Villain but with the right management and a run of games I think he might be worth a punt if we can afford his wages.

  • Matt says:

    Good player to add to the ranks, West Brom fans seem to rate him. Heard we’re after Dele Alli on loan from Tottenham, he would be a fantastic addition!

  • Smudge says:

    Hope Gary’s plans for a smaller better squad come to fruition, can’t help thinking that a couple of injuries to key players and we will be struggling. Hope that the medical and physio departments can be overhauled to ensure that the players stay fit and healthy longer and long term injures can be kept to a minimum. Would love to see us challenging for a play off spot next season but have a feeling that we will miss out but I do think we will be close.

  • Swissjonny says:

    Tesche for me could really be a pivotal signing.The young lad in the article is really rated by some baggy mates of mine.Delfonso was also seriously rated by the only viler that I can tolerate.I agree with Mitchell that we need a ball winning toughie.Not just an enforcer but someone who is capable of winning clean ball and consisitently finding Blue shirts with simple well executed passes.We have some talented kids but we need some midfielders who can come with the physical side of the championship.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Those type of players are few and far between these days, the good ones anyway. Harrass the opposition, win the ball, play it simple, then support the attack. I think Robbie Savage was the last player we had like that.

    • Blue Steve says:

      Absolutely agree that we should make Tesche our priority signing. Midfield players who can score goals, make a pass and put their foot in are worth their weight in gold. I can see problems with his wages though. I think he is out of contract at Forest but has been reportedly on circa 20 k per week. Can we really stretch to this when our highest paid player is probably only on 8 or 9 k per week?

  • Adam True Blue says:

    So nice to see the optimism emerging for the new season, what a difference a year makes, I agree that it would be nice if not essential that we should hold onto Tesche Fabrinni and Morrison as these three players form the basis of our team going forward and I think Donaldson would benefit from having support at the front giving him some competition and also removing some of the pressure from him in a 4-4-2, It would be nice to see a few of our upcoming players given the chance to flourish and gain confidence on the pitch instead of having to play out of their skins covering injured players and then dropped after a game. one last point, Demarai look at where your loyalties lie, Blues have stuck with your inconsistencies it’s now time to stand up be counted and give something back! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t think Rowett is much of a 4-4-2 man tbh. If we’re going to play with 2 up front, I think it will be in a 3-5-2. That may be why he experimented with it towards the end of last season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it tried again during the friendlies.

      As for the youngsters, I think we need to integrate 2 or 3, maybe 4 of them from pre-season on, get them used to being in and around the first team scene… the likes of Townsend, Cogley, Adams and Solomon-Otabor. That would be better than just fetching them out of the reserves for the odd game.

  • rhees says:

    Hopeful for next season

  • I wish Alex all the best he has got something , but I just hope this is not EYs answer to Charlie Austin , as I personally would like to hear what this possible new owners intensions are , I want bcfc sold, as I don’t see people coming in buying shares will change the majority of shareholders votes from the something for nothing feeling that has prevailed , I see the only way up for blues is for the club to be sold to a consortium with vast wealth , and sponsorship ,so that they can create enough income to buy the expensive players needed with that income , I am a realist , but I have a dream, but I no that dream needs heavy backing , this club will be big again soon but I can’t see E&Y making the difference , I hope I am wrong mind you ..

  • Dave Mann says:

    I hope he can push for a first team place but I don’t think so but I hope ime proved wrong !! …as for Delle Alli I would love him at blues on loan but surely spurs wold loan him back to mk Dons wouldn’t they?… They are championship next season!! Kro

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    Looks a cocky so and so judging by his photo, but sound that way from the interview. I hope his optimism is well-founded i.e.Gary has given that encouragement

  • beegeeblueboy says:

    Looks a cocky so and so judging by his photo, but doesn’t sound that way from the interview. I hope his optimism is well-founded i.e.Gary has given that encouragement

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Rumour has it that we’re about to miss out on striker Gary Madine, who looks set to sign for Bolton. Looks like Amari’i Bell has a couple of clubs after him.. Gillingham and Fleetwood.

  • Dave mann says:

    I remember when there were rumours about signing Gareth bale , and our defenders leaving to go to premiership clubs .. Wow, how things have changed staffs … Madine, Gillingham and fleeteood .. God I need a drink !!! .. Or a rope! Kro

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    I wish the new lad all the best,let’s hope GR and his staff can see something Pullis couldn’t. Otherwise the sort of names that we are being linked with are a bit underwhelming at present tbh and I hope that GR will be allowed to aim a little higher but I suppose that’s all down to our finances of which are a mystery to us all. Tesche,Fabrini and kiernan have to be our priority end of. Let’s just hope we will be allowed to shop in that sort of market.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    If Madine is going to Bolton it looks like our wage scales are still wrong.

    • almajir says:

      Wrong?

      How do you work that one out? If they allow us to continue without running up debts then surely they’re right? Or do you think we should be irresponsible financially?

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Gary Madine is no loss to Blues. Similar to Marlon King he is an ex-con whose goals to game ratio is mediocre. There has to be a question mark that Gary even wanted him.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Amari’i Bell has signed for Fleetwood.

    Blues’ only home friendly is against Leicester City on 1st AUgust.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Blues now linked with Ipswich’s out of contract winger Paul Anderson. He was a bit of a prospect when he signed for Forest from Liverpool. Still only 26, so room for improvement.


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