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Diego Fabbrini became Birmingham City’s biggest signing in five years, signing for the club in a £1.5million deal that is the largest transfer fee Blues have paid out since they signed Curtis Davies on this day five years ago.
I can imagine for Gary Rowett that there was a bit of relief when this one was done having taken more than a week to sort out the complications surrounding Fabbrini’s loan to Middlesbrough along with waiting for Boro boss to start the transfer merry-go-round by signing Gaston Ramirez on loan. It was vindication for Rowett too, with critics including myself worrying that he was struggling to close deals of this nature – apparently my worries were misplaced somewhat.
Actually, I probably owe Gary two apologies. When we loaned Diego Fabbrini last year I was concerned we were loaning a player that we had no chance of owning and that it was to the detriment of developing our own players; now it turns out we’ve bought in Fabbrini and we’ve secured what could be a massive talent not long before you would think he would hit the best age of his playing career.
I have to admit though, that as exciting as the Fabbrini deal is I don’t think our transfer business should be over. Blues have lost two defenders in this window – Greg Halford (not the lead singer of Judas Priest as I mistakenly first wrote yesterday) and Shane Lowry leaving Blues a bit shy of cover at the back. I know people have been saying that the defence have been more than good enough – and it is hard to argue with the stats – but it’s foolhardy to believe that we won’t be hit by injuries and suspensions in the remaining four months.
There are rumours coming out of Blues that we are linked with at least one defender. I’m interested to see which way Rowett goes; his current crop of defenders have served him well and it would be hard to break up a partnership to bring new blood but is he going to be able to bring someone in who is going to be patient and wait for their chance?
I’d like to see us bring in someone tall – we are lacking height at the back – and possibly as a more long-term permanent solution for when Robbo’s legs properly go but I’m willing to accept that this window might not be the chance to do that and that a loan of someone with experience who is willing to cover is more than adequate.
One thing is for sure; my wavering faith in Rowett’s transfer abilities has been restored somewhat by this week’s work. I hope that come February 2nd it remains firmly in place and we can concentrate on getting the promotion disco bus ready – I really believe that the playoffs are achievable and that this year is our year.
In other news, the competition winner has been notified and I’ll be posting something on that at some point today along with some interesting stats on who guessed correctly when…