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Harry Redknapp’s summer rebuilding at Birmingham City needs to step up a gear, even at this early stage. However, being linked with Newcastle’s Grant Hanley and Liverpool’s Andre Wisdom is very positive news.
Toon centre-back Hanley has been linked with a summer transfer to the Blues, though he is also now interesting Aston Villa in what could be, as we predicted, a battle for the same players between the two second-city clubs between now and September.
Grant Hanley is nothing if not experienced in this division, especially for a 25-year-old. The Scotland international has made over 200 appearances in his career since breaking into the Blackburn team at 18 and has gone on to play a bit-part in Rafa Benitez’s title winning season.
Before moving to St James’ Park Hanley was a regular at Ewood from 2010 onwards, especially after the club’s relegation from the Premier League in 2012. Just 10 appearances for Newcastle have knocked him back slightly and he is a player who deserves more game time at this level.
Hanley has 25 caps for Scotland and knows how to organise his back line. Dumfries-born Hanley is certainly a commanding presence in the defence and is a player who also offers help and support to the younger members of the squad. He would be a valuable asset to Birmingham City.
The Blues are also interested in bringing in attacking right-back Andre Wisdom from Liverpool, in what looks to be another positive potential move.
Redknapp is a keen admirer of the the 24-year-old and the player himself seems to be seeking a move away from Anfield. Wisdom has two years left on his contract and has not played a competitive game for the side since 2013.
Having previously spent time on loan at West Brom and Derby, Wisdom was sent on loan to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria last season and did well enough. One thing is for sure. Redknapp believes that he is a much better option than current right-back Emilio Nsue and Wisdom’s attacking style is much more in keeping with Redknapp’s footballing beliefs.
The new manager needs to improve competition within the squad and so it may well be that Nsue gets retained. Wisdom would definitely add a touch of swashbuckling quality to the group.