Often Partisan

Asante Signs

Akwasi Asante yesterday signed a new contract at Blues, keeping him at St Andrew until June 2o14 with an option to keep him at the club for a year longer.

For the 20-year-old Dutchman, next year is probably his make-or-break season. Ruled out by injury during the striker crisis Blues suffered in late December/early January, Asante has yet to make his league debut with his sole experience in the Blues first team being a couple of minutes as a sub in the game against Nacional in the Europa League play off round in August 2011.

Asante had been interesting Shrewsbury, where he spent seven games on loan at the tail-end of last season, scoring in the last one against Portsmouth. However, it’s my belief that Akwasi probably realised that next season represents a good chance to break into the Blues first team with two of the four senior strikers in front of him available for transfer. Last year was evidence enough that Clark is happy to play youngsters who he thinks can make an impact and indeed one game last season saw Asante preferred on the bench to Nikola Zigic although he wasn’t brought on.

I’ve seen Asante play a few times, and of the strikers that have come through the ranks at St Andrews in recent years, he has impressed me most. Whilst he is certainly fairly quick, he also possesses good strength and at Academy and Development Squad level I’ve seen him batter defences into submission, with good strength to hold off players and intelligent running keeping defenders on their toes. Obviously it’s going to be a somewhat large step up to the rigours of the Championship but as an option of the bench I think Asante will offer us something that we don’t have – much like Wes Thomas did in his better games last season.

However the young striker has suffered somewhat with injuries; a heel injury after scoring five in one game for the u18s against Spurs kept him out for a lengthy period in the 2011-12 season whilst a niggly hamstring injury kept him out for a good few months in the last campaign. Asante will need to show the Blues coaching staff that he can stay fit and available for the team for longer periods if he is to push into the first team and extend his deal beyond next season.

Blues now have a six strikers with pro deals available for the new season in Zigic, Novak, Hales, Asante, Lovenkrands and King although the latter two have been made available for free transfers. I suspect that for now Clark will be happy with this and will turn his attention to bolstering a defence which looks paper-thin at the moment – at least until if/when King and/or Lovenkrands moves on. I have to admit I think it’s a decent lineup myself and I am looking forwards to the new season more.

Blues have three players outstanding with contracts yet to be signed – Wade Elliott, Jonathan Spector and Paul Robinson. Whilst their contracts elapse on June 30 that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be turned loose on that date; all three are fully entitled to speak to any other club now about a new deal but as discussed on this site some two years ago, they can remain with the club for a while yet whilst they think about their contract offers. I have to admit the longer it goes on, the more likely I think it will be that they will sign their new deals as it would indicate to me that there isn’t anything on the horizon elsewhere for them. Obviously, we will soon see.

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136 Responses to “Asante Signs”

  • Evesham blue says:

    Withdraw the contracts. Why they looking for ‘better’ options anyway?

    • almajir says:

      God forbid anyone tries to look for better money for a living.

    • Pete says:

      A daft comment. So you go to work one day and are told that if you want to stay there you can but you will have to take a pay cut. However if you want to look around first for better pay you can. You are telling me you would not look? Get real for goodness sake! I hope they re-sign, but my view on any of the players will not be tarnished one bit if they opt to stay with us on June 30th!

      • Evesham Blue says:

        You are entitled to your opinion but they have had long enough to decide is my opinion. My point is we need people on board now so we can get the squad sorted out. They dont sign we need to find replacements and LC’s plans are delayed. What is wrong with expecting a decision by now? Not daft at all.

        • Pete says:

          Utterly daft in my opinion. Tey have had just over 2 weeks, whilst most people in football are on holiday and therefore not leveryone is offering deals yet. We have made an offer for them to think about and if they are seeing what their choices are you seem offended by that they have not bitten the clubs hands off quickily enough. They are being offered reduced pay, and although it might not fit our perfect world to have them sign I am guessing the terms offered would be very okay for the club so to wiithdraw the offer because of this would be cutting our noses off to spite our face. As I said are they not entitled to look round and is this not quite normal? These are players and not fans.

          • Evesham blue says:

            It has been more than a couple of weeks? Long enough for them to sun themselves on a beach and get their agent to find them more money. Don’t make excuses. Birmingham city is my main interest not somebody saying how much they want a contract then procrastinating. Robinson had his pay day. There are shed loads of players out of contract. It’s daft to wait for them. Give them a time limit or adious amigos

          • Evesham blue says:

            Besides they are 34 year olds got one season left in them if that(Caldwell was a season too many). They know blues financial constraints. No sentiment on blues either. They offered them what they could afford for their age or injury record. I would sooner have a younger player with a point to prove and some potential resale value

          • Pete says:

            Sorry Evesham- you must be from the wrong side of ‘The Sham’ as I think you naively saying these comments. In the idea world we will be able to say go away and just pluck newer younger players who we know will do a certain job. I am not making excuses for them as they dont need any- they have the right to take time. That kind of comment shows that you taking this as a personal blow, here as for the players it is business and livelyhoods.
            The players were told 3 weeks ago and they have an option to decide. Why must they need to be in a hurry- because you want them to be? Perhaps the most relivent point is that LC understands the way it works and is willing to wait for a response. I guess whilst you and I disagree it is this is all that matters.

  • mark says:

    me personally glad asante has signed, i feared he could be like AJ go some there, and prove blues wrong….. he now has the opportunity to prove to himself and the club……..

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m glad Asante has signed, I’ve been waiting to see how the lad does in the first team. It’s a shame injuries have held him back somewhat. At least we haven’t done what we did with Mutch (yet,) get him over all his injuries, then sell him after one season.

    As for the others, I hope they learn to write soon, and stick their Xs on the contracts… but I won’t shed any tears if they don’t.

  • mark says:

    Dan- in your opinion do you think asante has more about him than AJ….. they around the same age when we flogged AJ ???

    • KeeprightCroydON says:

      AJ was already a first team player when he was sold. Asante still has a way to go I think. If my memory serves me right AJ was valued at around £1m in the deal that brought Morrison the other way – happy to stand corrected if I have got this figure wrong. Don’t think Asante would command that kind of fee at the moment.

      • KeeprightCroydON says:

        Should add I do not mean to imply that Asante is not good. I don’t know enough about him, but from what Al writes he does seem to have a lot of potential.

      • mark says:

        i believe the figure to be around 750,000 with clinton Morrison coming to us…..AJ played with us in Divison 1. He scored around 8 goals while with us, better goal ratio with palace…..

        • KeeprightCroydON says:

          Thanks Mark. Impressed with your memory of the fee and his scoring record for us.

        • mike says:

          A.J couldnt hit a cows backside with a banjo when he played for us !! At Palace he was a very differrent player , as his goals tally proved , wheras Morrisons goals at Palace dried up when he signed for us !! Thats Blues all over.

          • chas says:

            When Morrison signed for us, a few CP Fans came on our Forum and said we should have signed Freedman(I think his name is) as well, as he made the goals for Morrison, same as Hatton for Latchford..Blues did in this case what they always have done, tried to do it on the cheap.

          • almajir says:

            I cannot believe that people have not recognised the goals morrison created for Forssell and Heskey

          • Pete says:

            The fact that AJ played in one game and then would be dropped if he did not score did not help. I know this is going to be controversial- but I think he was not helped one bit by the manager at the time, Mr Francis. Being a great player does not make a great manager…

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Noticed Andrew Johnson is available on a Bosman!

        • Bluenosesol says:

          Joihnson only ever scored 13 goals for Blues. He has already been turned down by Swindon. I thought our new mantra was young and hungry, not past it and bloated!

        • chas says:

          Pete, Francis thought the world of AJ , it was Bruce who didn’t give him a proper chance..But making decisions was what he got paid for I suppose.

          • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

            8 goals in 100 od games, we got Morrison who scored against the Vile and had a lot better goal ratio than AJ…. AJ missed the most important penalty in his career, I for one stand by SB decision to bring a proven goal scorer to Blues and still do.

          • Pete says:

            What makes you think Francis thought the world of him??? Francis would give him a game on the wing, then drop him and then play him up front for 10 mins, then sub, etc. Bruce was only manager of him for 5 months. Agreed he did not rate him by that point, but Francis was the one who never got the best out of him. I dont see why he thought so highly of him…. I know the league cup final is what people will thank of, but I saw nothing other than that.
            As for Francis, I truly believe he is the most arrogant of people. To quote the late Gary Ablett “If he was made of chocolate he would have eaten himself.” Great player without a doubt, but manager….? We all have opinions mind.

  • mark says:

    Dan- did asante play in a pre-season warm-up in ireland before???

  • Quokkasskip says:

    As a 4th choice striker he is a good option.

    Hope he pushes on.

    Really need 2 centre halfs now

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m hoping that Lee Clark has this as his main priority now. But, we need two CBs who are better than what we had last year. They have to be first choice players. With Caldwell and Ibanez gone and Davies likely to go, we can’t afford to go for just squad players, they have to ready for battle come the first game. Then hopefully, the likes of Will Packwood and James Fry can be slowly intergrated into the first team squad as back up.

  • mark says:

    Dan- imo more so with heskey

  • mark says:

    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-big-interview-akwasi-4046019 great the lad wants to get going…….there was alittle quote in there that clark would have given him possibly 10-15 games last season if he was not injuried, and also Clark thinks highly of him…… Just maybe that persuaded asante to sign…………….

    • Pete says:

      Dont know why he did not get a game on the last day of the season then… what a chance that would have been.

  • Paul Carter says:

    Like he always does Lee is doing a great job re transfers right now with difficult parameters.

    Like the quick way they’re all done and dusted unlike others managers who conducted their dealings in the press and over months

    KRO Lee, the right man at the right time

    • Pete says:

      Going a bit far there. Like he always does- Mullins, Ambrose,Lovenkrands, Gordon, etc…? So far it looks pleasing though.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Loving Lee Clark’s attitude to signings. Better than the likes of McLeish, who was still doing his “due-dilligence” on players right up until they signed for someone else. It was nice of him to sign Burke and King though before he buggered off.

      As for Mullins, Ambrose,Lovenkrands and Gordon, I’m sick of hearing about them now. We weren’t able to sign anyone last year until the end of July. Those were the best available at that time. Don’t remember anyone moaning when they signed. Again, hindsight is a wondeful thing.

      p.s. watch the likes of Ambose and King come back to haunt us.

      • Pete says:

        Haunt us? They are still with us and not likely to be going anywhere unless I am very much mistaken…

      • chas says:

        Staffs , are you for real ? You moan about Posters mentioning the Clark signings that havent worked out, but are forever slagging off Zigic, even when you have to change a Post to get the dig in..Touch of Kettles and Teapots , methinks.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Change the post? What post? Didn’t think you could. I’m not a fan of Zigic, never have been, never will. I don’t think that’s a secret! I’ve made the odd post about him, but don’t go on about it!

          As for Mullins and Ambrose, Mullins isn’t the best player we have, but he tried to do a job when asked. Ambrose, with injury and loss of form, hasn’t really had the chance to show what he can do. Yet. Gordon wasn’t the best signing I’ll admit and Lovenkrands didn’t come off. But two bad signing isn’t that bad. I won’t be unhappy to see Mullins, Ambrose and King still here next season.

          • chas says:

            You do harp on about Zigic, if you havent noticed, you must be postI agree about the signings , the only one of the three I wouldn’t have signed was Lovenkrands, purely because he had turned his nose up at us at least twice before, but other wise I was happy at the time with them.ing in your sleep..

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I don’t like Zigic. So sue me! He wasn’t a Lee Clark signing anyway, so it’s irrelevant.

            But apart from Lovenkrands and Gordon, I don’t think his signings have been that bad. He’s done the best with what he’s had. They’ve not all paid huge dividends, but they’re not been complete failures, they’ve all contributed something to the team. I do think his signings so far this season have been solid, if not spectacular. And as mark says, Ambrose, if he doesn’t leave, could be like a new signing this season.

          • Pete says:

            I think there are quite a few poor ones to be honest. Would be interesting to have a post on here of all signings and a rating of what people would make of them- could be interesting. Think of David Lucas..!!! lol.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Have to agree with you on Lucas. It mystified me at the time. Only reason I could see for signing him, was for third choice back up (which he was) and as a goalkeepr coach – we’d just lost Dave Watson to Norwich. I think maybe Lee Clark breathed a sigh of relief when Fleetwood took him off our hands.

  • Bcfc1955 says:

    Given our current team situation then not resigning the3 players who have offers on the table will be a blow

    Elliott and Robinson were near to being our best players last season and I have always admired Spector for his attitude commitment and versality

    I suspect Clarke will be very disappointed if any of these players are not in the squad next season

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Other than King, whose goals we might miss, I think Spector might be the biggest loss, just for his versatility. I’m wondering if he can still play centre back? That’s what Man Utd signed him as originally.

      • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

        Spector the biggest miss? are you sure, he has spent half his career on the physios bench!!!!!

  • mark says:

    pete- who says these players can’t turn it around even though some had injuries, let say ambrose play for blues again he could have a great season this season, and possibly score 10 goals……. and play.brilliant in a five man midfield, with lone forward… i think you can never rule anyone out until they gone……..last season was last season put it to bed….start of a new season clean slate for everyone……….

    • Pete says:

      Mark- I agree with you in many respects. It is a new season and a fresh challenge, and that after all is the beauty of the game. Always something to hope for. That said, when someone says “Lee is doing what he always does making great signings” I feel it is unaviodable than to look back and assess. I think he made some good loan signings in Feguson, Morrison (eventhough he underperformed) and Caddis. Other than that I am struggling to name a great or even good Clark signing.

      I do appreciate there are constraints on him, but you do have to look at the past when deciding whether he is a good signer of players. I hope this was his lean spell in signings!!!

  • mark says:

    great thing about this season the players will all be singing from the same hymn sheet…….

  • bcfc1978 says:

    Matt Green has our interest stopped regarding him??

  • bcfc1978 says:

    Sunderland centre-back Matt Kilgallon is interesting Lee Clark lets hope he can sell the dvd to him :-)

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I saw this in the papers a few weeks ago. Good to see a result to the case. Thanks for the link mark.

    • almajir says:

      As i tweeted the link about five minutes prior to your comment… yes ;)

      • mark says:

        Today OP has passed the 3million all time pageviews milestone. Thanks everyone!

        Big well- done Dan don’t think its been noted on here……………we all have our opinions…. no comment no comment lol

        • almajir says:

          Mark, there are sometimes deeper reasons why I can’t say owt.

          • mark says:

            i know kidda you are the best….. if i touch nerve I am sorry, like any blues fan just wanted
            information regarding our club to get a better insight …..you do an unbelievable job, and you deserve all the plaudits….. kro

  • chas says:

    Damn..That should have read ….You must post in your sleep.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’d worked that out. zzzzzzz =)

      • chas says:

        :-) And I don’t know if you read my reply re Mullins etc, I did say that I thought they were good signings at the time..I still don’t think Mullins was as bad as made out tho..

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I think it depended who he played with in midfield. I thought Mullins and Reilly did well as a pair. I was disappointed not to see them play together more often.

  • TracyKRO says:

    anything about the court case almajir

  • TracyKRO says:

    ok thanks almajir

  • AR says:

    Pete, if TF did not like AJ why did he sign him for Palace? It was Brucie who thought he was too small.

    • Pete says:

      When did I never say he did not like him? I DO THINK he failed to get the best out of by constantly playing him on the wing or benching him for not scoring in a game. He needed to be given confidence that one miss meant he would be benched. Just my opinion, but how can always being in and out of the side help you develop? I NEVER said TF did not like him.

      • Smeghorn says:

        AJ scored around 30 goals in a season under TF at Palace

        • Pete says:

          Yes, it is a shame that when TF had other strikers (unlike the few choices he had at Palace) at Blues he would not keep fiath and keep playing AJ. Then he might have got 30 goals for us…! I am not saying TF did not get a goal out of AJ, but he did not manage to get the best of him for us, and i believe it is because he always bottled keeping him in the side even when not scoring. You could tell AJ was in fear of being dropped all the time. When given a run (somewhere else) under TF he developed. I just wish TF had done that here.

  • Tim says:

    People really do talk a lot of shite on here, watch the old footage of AJ playing for us, carling cup etc and then watch Clinton … Make your own minds up but AJ went onto play for England, and had it not been for injuries he would’ve been a superstar. Fact

    • almajir says:

      And Clinton went on to play for the Republic of Ireland, winning 36 caps and scoring nine times…

    • Pete says:

      How can you speculate that he would have been a superstar be a FACT? He was a player who had two good seasons, using his superb pace. He might have ended up a superb player and on the other hand he might not. FACT. As for how he compared to Clinton Morrison, there cannot be many who would claim not to have been a little disappointed in how Morrison worked out- but not many thought AJ was going to be a superstar. If Francis had been so sure he would be such a star, why was he not consistantly playing him up front? Maybe the thing that made a huge different for AJ was his being a Londoner being back home in London. There are so many factors that played a part. Maybe Morrison being away from London was a problem. I will always appreciate AJ’s reaction when he scored against us and stopped celebrating out of respect – totally decent FACT!

  • Tim says:

    Like I say mate, watch the old footage

    • Pete says:

      Any footage of any player can show what you like. Look, I am not saying AJ was crap I am saying he was unfulfilled at Blues and Morrison played a big part in our success- Heskey and Forsell were not playing up front without any help. AJ was not a GOD at Blues by ny means. He may have developed (once again I repeat when given an opportunity to keep developing) into a good player, but he was not with us. Watch the footage is not much of a arguement.

  • mark says:

    it was shame AJ allowed simulation into his game if you got sheering pace no need for diving a clumsy defender will take you out anyway….Hope asante uses his pace to good effect…….

  • Tim says:

    TF played him just the right amount to bring him on.. When he played against Liverpool he scared the life out of them.. Clinton was not in the same league.. If you can’t see that then you don’t know football.. You will be saying next that Damien Johnson and dean peer were the best midfielders we have had at the club or that Kevin Langley was the small Heath pele.. Bloody Nora

    • mark says:

      Liverpool could not handle him, and even now some of my Liverpool friends believe blues were robbed that day………..

      • Pete says:

        Mark you are right, AJ had a great impact in that one game. The point of that proves what? I recall many playrrs having a great game for us, does it mean their hole career with us was one where they were superb- no.

    • Pete says:

      dont know who you are talking to? But you are clearly the self-titled encyclopedia on football, as you know everything. I personally think AJ was a sound player who was never made the most of, so I might agree to a point. Also though I think Morrison contributed a lot more than people give credit for. But I dont see how you can tell others your opinions are FACTS. Slightly arrogant and full of it. “But then again if you dont know this you dont know football”- dont be a tw**. Going on to play for England does not mean you were a superstar- remember Geoff Thomas, Andy Sinton and Carlton Palmer…? You do? Point made. You don’t? You dont know football!!! lol.

  • mark says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwh2TFME930 please watch this my thoughts absolutely wicked…. loved it

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t want to get into an argument about it (honest,) but I always thought AJ could have made it with us, given the chance. He frightened the life out of Liverpool in that final. Who knows what might have been if he’d scored that penalty. We’ll never know.

    As for Morrison, I liked the guy, but he never had a foot, he had a scoop. =) He always seemed to scoop the ball instead of hitting it cleanly. I think that’s why he missed so many chances. The only thing I didn’t like about him, was he spent more time on his ar$e than he did on his feet. And boy, could he moan… lol

  • Evesham blue says:

    You put a sell on clause into the contract. Good business sense? Who ever negotiated zigs contract had zero business sense. You put a relegation cause into it

    • mark says:

      he be gone 12 months time they put any thing they like in it, he might put some effort into this coming season to seek contract some where else we see………..

    • mark says:

      he be gone 12 months time…… they put any thing they like in it, he might put some effort into this coming season to seek contract some where else we see………..

  • Tim says:

    So, you up the ante and call me a twat then pete, for having an opinion.. Very brave..

    • Pete says:

      Tim. No I am not a Villa fan. I also apologise if you feel I am trying to be insulting. But when I have someone claim towards my views “people are talking shite” and “they dont know football” just because is disagrees with your views it does tend to rile. I had at no point made any rude comments, only in response to your somewhat rude comments. As for your views- does everyone who does not agree with you have to be unknowledgable??? Do they have to be talking shite if they dont agree with you??? I stand by the view that someone who acts in that way is being ignorant. However, I will be happy to speak to you one to one if you dont feel I am being fair or need to be a little more willing to be ‘brave’.

  • Tim says:

    Is pete a villa fan?

      • mark says:

        Chucho little pocket rocket……why we did not get a penalty against chelsea I will never know

    • mark says:

      Great that robo taken up the contract offer, imo I believe robo love it at our club…….to be honest I do not believe it was in doubt…..

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Tbh, I doubt that anyone, presented with a contract, would sign it there and then. Also, let’s face it, if it’s Pannu who has the contracts drawn up… wouldn’t you check the small print? =)

      • Pete says:

        Mark- I am saying this in jest to Evesham Ble, so no ofence was meant, but thank god we did not do what he wanted by withdrawing the contract on Monday! The problem is waiting that 2 days might have ruined us!

        • mark says:

          fans get anxious, and want a quick fix, players are only human they are entitled to read the small print as mentioned by staffsblue. imo robo is a bluenose, gritty, has the desire to keep playing at the highest level, hopefully that will continue to rub off on the young players making their way…………

  • Stephen says:

    Heard a roumer about the possibility of DJ Campbell re-signing, has anyone heard anything about this and any truth in it?

    It would be nice.

  • Tony says:

    I saw probably the worst left back display by anyone in a blues shirt under Steve Bruce, it ruined the kids career. your starter for 10

  • mark says:

    Sone Aluko it pity blues did show faith in this player…. he came back to haunt us……

  • mark says:

    and he had the last laugh………..premiership…….

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Anyone else watching Butland and Redmond for the U21s? Redmond has been our only threat so far. 0-0.

  • mark says:

    i have got stoke to be relegated next season oh dear………….

  • mark says:

    nice effort by nathan he got be worth 10mil

  • mark says:

    how unlucky was red with that free-kick at the death…….

  • Tony says:

    was thinking of Carter


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