This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
It all started with a photo.
— We Are Birmingham (@WeAreBirmingham) November 5, 2019
One post on social media and all of a sudden Birmingham City looked like they were going to be getting a new player in 26-year-old French forward Jeremie Bela.
The Blues have reportedly been interested in him for some time but just haven’t been able to pull the trigger on making the deal happen.
However, that changed on Wednesday evening when the club officially confirmed the acquisition.
Find out a how a world-record-holding freestyler got on with the worst football in the world in the video below…
If you take a look at his career record (all via Transfermarkt), you can see that he has slowly been developing into a fine goalscorer.
Having started off slowly with goal returns of one, six, four and five in previous league seasons, he finally managed to break the ten goal barrier last year and score eleven.
As a player, he has predominantly played as a winger, but has also played a few games upfront, and that’s where he could find himself at St Andrew’s.
As we have discussed before on FFC, Lukas Jutkiewicz is in desperate need of some help up front and Bela could be the solution that the Blues have been looking for. Considering he’s 5 foot 8, a little and large combination could develop quite nicely between the pair of them.
With the 6 foot 1 frame of Jutkiewicz, a man who has won eight aerial duels per game in 2019/20, he could provide the knockdowns for his potential new teammate to run onto and finish.
Clotet has experimented with the likes of Kerim Mrabti and Alvaro Gimenez but to no real avail – the pair have scored just one between them. Now it looks as if they could be about to try a different approach with Bela.
What also adds substance to the belief he’ll play as a forward is that he hasn’t exactly been very helpful to his teammates throughout his career, only managing to chip in with six assists to far, so it’s best that they leave that role to the incumbent wingers like Dan Crowley and Fran Villalba.