Birmingham City opinion: Blues should offer Lukas Jutkiewicz a new deal
According to Birmingham Live, Birmingham City are closing in on a new long-term deal for centre-forward Lukas Jutkiewicz, with the report claiming that the 30-year-old is set to throw cold water on all the speculations over his future by putting pen to paper on fresh terms.
Jutkiewicz, who is currently in the last 12 months of his current contract at St. Andrew’s, has attracted interest from several other Championship clubs due to his questionable contract situation at the club, but the Blues are set to resolve that by offering him a new deal. (h/t Birmingham Live)
The 30-year-old former Burnley and Everton man is currently coming off the most prolific season of his career, having accumulated 14 goals and 10 assists in 46 Championship appearances in the previous campaign.
Jutkiewicz formed an incredible strike partnership with Che Adams this past season, as Garry Monk’s side comfortably beat the drop and secured a respectable 17th-place finish in the second-tier.
Adams topped the scoring charts at St. Andrew’s with 22 goals in the Championship and stole most of the limelight before earning a big-money move to the Premier League with Southampton.
Adams, though, is not the only star player from the previous campaign to have parted ways with the Blues, with Spanish playmaker Jota also making a switch to the Premier League with newly-promoted Aston Villa.
Not to forget last season’s skipper Michael Morrison, who has departed St. Andrew’s to join Reading on a free transfer this summer.
Hence, caretaker manager Pep Clotet has his work cut out to assemble a competent unit without three of last season’s standout performers and it is a no-brainer that new arrivals would hold the key to the Blues’ success in the Championship next term.
Birmingham City are yet to flex their muscles to a large extent in the summer transfer window, with the acquisition of playmaker Dan Crowley from Eredivisie side Willem II being the only significant piece of business at St. Andrew’s till now. In addition, Gary Gardner’s loan deal from Aston Villa has been made permanent.
Ideally, City would need to make at least two or three more new signings before the deadline to challenge for a top-half finish in the Championship next term, but holding on to some of the existing key players at the club could also prove indispensable to their chances of reaching better heights.
To put things into perspective, Lukas Jutkiewicz certainly falls within that bracket and it would be a real shame for the Blues if he follows the footsteps of Michael Morrison and departs St. Andrew’s on a free transfer next summer.
Well, that is only a part of the problem that is likely to stem from the 30-year-old’s potential departure this summer, with the Blues already quite light in their striking options following the departure of Che Adams to Southampton.
Hence, it is easy to see that they would be in a massive hole should Jutkiewicz join another club, given the lack of depth in the club’s attacking ranks.
City, of course, can choose to rely on the likes of Isaac Vassell and Jacques Maghoma, but neither of them is yet to illustrate the same kind of goal-scoring pedigree as the 30-year-old.
As a matter of fact, Jutkiewicz registered an unbelievable 12.4 aerial duels per game in the Championship the last term, to go with his average of 2.6 shots and 0.9 key passes per game.
As evident from his tally of 14 goals and 10 assists last season, he is not only adept at scoring goals but he is equally proficient in creating chances for his teammates with his clever link-up play, tireless running and intelligent movement.
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All in all, Jutkiewicz could go on and work wonders for Birmingham City next term if he manages to kick on from where he had signed off last season.
The 30-year-old is still very much in his prime and has a lot to offer, and with that in mind, the Blues should secure his long-term future with a new deal at the earliest.