When Carson Yeung arrived at St Andrews in 2009, his pledge of up to 40 million pounds for transfers would have been met with a sceptical smile from Blues fans who knew from past experiences that promises are sometimes left unfulfilled.
The January transfer window was largely unsuccessful for Alex McLeish, whose Blues side were sitting pretty in the Premier League table, but bids of 9 million pounds and 10 million pounds for Liverpool’s Ryan Babel and Tottenham’s Roman Pavlyuchenko and completed deals for Michel and Craig Gardner for 3 million apiece were a representation that the money was there and Blues were not going to be held to ransom in negotiations.
It is perhaps in recent weeks though that Yeung has gone someway in fulfilling the pledge he made some six months ago with the 12 million he has given McLeish for the arrivals of Ben Foster and Serbian striker Nikola Zigic.
Alex McLeish made no secret of the fact that Blues had been plotting to buy a new keeper as soon as they heard the news from Manchester City that the much loved Joe Hart would be on his way back to Eastlands in the summer. The man to replace him? A man who is very much of a similar ilk to Hart when he first arrived at the club – a talented English goalkeeper, deprived of first team opportunity and hungry to prove himself at the highest level.
Although the departure of Hart, who forced his way into both the England squad and the Blues fans’ hearts with his displays, was one which left even him “choked with emotion” the arrival of Ben Foster for 6 million pounds, does serve towards easing their pain through the signing itself and what it signifies, a board who is willing to spend money and push the club forward.
Similarly, the arrival of 6ft 8inch striker Nikola Zigic from Spanish side Valencia, means Carson Yeung can begin to walk tall amongst the crowds at St Andrews as the capture of the front man for the same money paid for Ben Foster leaves Blues total spend just a few weeks after the close of the season at 12 million pounds on transfer fees alone and ‘Big Eck’ is certainly not going to stop there.
It is also interesting to note that Ben Foster spoke of the clubs ambition when he touched down at St Andrews, “When I talked to the manager, he spoke about the ambition of the club, the new owners are willing to put money towards it and they realistically want to target the European places next season and I think it is definitely within reach,” said Foster.Nikola Zigic also spoke of “the potential of playing in Europe” and with a few more faces to come in, orchestrated by the man who lead Blues to their best finish in 51 years, Blues fans’ have every right to dream.
Written By David Hynds from Bluesviews1875