Five Birmingham City starlets who could save Tom Wagner millions in the transfer market
Latest Birmingham City news from BirminghamLive includes a look at some of the youngsters aiming to impress
Birmingham City have a clutch of talented youngsters who will be given the chance to impress John Eustace in pre-season.
No manager gave more minutes to players under the age of 20 in the Championship last season and Blues are keen to keep giving their academy graduates chances – provided they are up to standard. Jude Bellingham has set the world alight since graduating from Blues’ academy four years ago, but the club may never produce a comparable talent.
George Hall is now the standard bearer for Blues’ academy graduates having become a fixture in Eustace’s team towards the end of last season. The 18-year-old midfielder has demonstrated all of the qualities to become a Premier League player of the future. Jordan James and Alfie Chang also fall into the first team bracket now.
Academy manager Liam Daish recently told BirminghamLive that there is more talent lying in wait. That includes five players who are currently working under Eustace and his coaching staff in pre-season. If they impress and progress, they could end up saving prospective new owner Tom Wagner and Knighthead millions in the transfer market
Williams was unfortunate with injuries after breaking into the first team set-up last August. He didn’t feature after making six successive starts between August and September.
The 20-year-old is one of the few wing-back options available to Eustace at the moment and should receive opportunities in pre-season.
Powerfully-built midfielder Campbell only made two appearances in the first team last season, but he is on Eustace’s radar and was namechecked by the manager during conversations about the club’s young contingent last term.
The problem Campbell has is that there is a great deal of competition for spots in Blues’ midfield. He does, however, have a different skillset to the more intricate, technical qualities of James and Chang.
Somehow, 21-year-old defender Gordon has become Blues’ forgotten man after failing to make a single first team appearance last season. Illness thwarted Gordon in pre-season last year, but he has reported for duty in good shape this time around.
At the moment Gordon is one of just three central defenders in Eustace’s squad, but that will change in the coming weeks with defensive reinforcements top of the agenda. Gordon must make this pre-season count.
Oakley has returned to Blues after a productive year in Scotland’s second tier, first with Arbroath and then with Queens Parks. The right-back – who scored in an EFL Cup win over Colchester in 2021 – now has 38 first team appearances to his name.
It isn’t hard to see why Blues have persisted with Andrews, who turns 22 in October. The striker is physically imposing and possesses a great turn of pace to boot.
Injuries have slowed his progress slightly and his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers last term didn’t go to plan. However, one look at Andrews shows you that he has all the attributes to become a success.