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Birmingham City, rather typically for a club with Harry Redknapp in charge of playing matters, look certain to have a busy final two days of the summer transfer window as they look to bring in at least another three players.
Up to this point, Redknapp had already brought in 7 players, having recently signed loanees Cohen Bramall, Carl Jenkinson and Sam Gallagher. That overall figure though has now risen to eight with the signing of Chelsea winger Jeremie Boga, their fourth loan arrival having signed him until the end of this season.
Naturally, there will also be players going through the exit door at St. Andrews before Thursday night, Ryan Shotton now having agreed a move to Middlesbrough to aid their promotion bid. Shotton will finally be allowed to head to the Riverside once a deal for Aden Flint of Bristol City is signed and sealed at Birmingham.
So among all these comings and goings – is Boga a good signing for Redknapp and co? Chelsea, it could be argued, have more quantity than quality even for a Premier League winning club. So far this summer alone, they have sent out 14 players on loan and have released the likes of John Terry, as well as selling players such as Atsu, Traore and Chalobah.
The worry then is that Boga is ‘just another Chelsea reject’, though at Championship level he may still do some damage to the opposition. Boga did manage to make his Premier League debut this season, getting 18 minutes of play before being allowed to leave on loan.
The 20-year-old has played 60 times at first team level so far for Rennes, Rennes II, Chelsea and Granada and so he has little experience at least. He is ready for the next step in his career and so from his point of view, this move will make sense, however, I still cannot help thinking that the current way of things in England is a damaging one.
In the past, players of the age and quality of Boga would have been at clubs like Birmingham anyway and looking for a bigger move later on. Now the likes of Chelsea and Man City buy up all the talent and then throw out the ones they have no room for, something I can’t believe it really helps the player’s development. I’d worry that Boga wouldn’t produce the sort of quality for Birmingham, that a ‘Chelsea’ player is expected to.