The 3 Birmingham City players that really need to prove their worth next season
FLW looks at Birmingham City’s squad ahead of the 2023/24 campaign
Ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, Birmingham City’s squad is likely to look very different to what it did last year.
Indeed, after a 17th place finish in the Championship last season, the club opted to release a number of senior players, all of whom will need to be replaced ahead of the new campaign.
There are, though, still players in the squad currently heading into next season that arguably have plenty to prove in the upcoming campaign.
Below, we’ve picked out and discussed three players we feel fall into that category.
Having only joined the Blues in January, Kevin Long was initially released this summer after 17 Championship appearances for the club.
However, in recent days, he signed a new one-year deal, which also includes an option for a further year.
Simply because of that, he now has to prove his worth.
Not only does he need to show that the Blues were right to bring him back after being initially released, but Long must demonstrate that he is worth activating the extra year option that the club have included in his contract, too.
It will certainly be interesting to see if the 32-year-old has done enough to extend his stay at St. Andrews until 2025 this time next summer.
Another Birmingham player with plenty to prove this season is Sam Cosgrove.
Cosgrove’s time at the club has been underwhelming so far to say the least, but he returns to St. Andrews this summer off the back of a decent loan spell with Plymouth in League One.
For the Pilgrims, Cosgrove netted 12 goals and registered 2 assists in 40 appearances.
With his contract due to expire in 2024, the 26-year-old must prove his worth to the Blues this season or he could soon find himself looking for a new club as a free agent.
Last but not least, Gary Gardner must also prove his worth this season.
Gardner has shown his ability time and time and time again for Birmingham City, but last season was a disaster.
The 30-year-old made just ten appearances for the club, with several injuries limiting his ability to play regular minutes.
Given that his contract is up in 2024, if Gardner were to have another similarly injury hit campaign, Birmingham City would seriously have to think twice about offering him a new deal.
The key for Gardner, then, is proving that he can stay fit and contribute regularly once again
If he can do that, there’s no doubting his ability whatsoever.