Birmingham City completed a deadline day deal for Chilean winger Jean Beausejour from Mexican side Club América. The 26 year old penned a 3 year deal at St Andrew’s for an undisclosed fee but how much do we really know about Birmingham’s new signing?
Many Birmingham fans first encounter with Beausejour came in this summer’s World Cup where the winger impressed as part of Marcelo Bielsa’s Chile team who won many fans with their attacking brand of football. Beausejour was a mainstay in Bielsa’s team, playing every minute of their run to the second round. Beausejour played on the left wing of Bielsa’s adventurous 3-3-1-3 formation and scored the winner in La Roja’s opening group game against Switzerland, earning man of the match honours for his game winning display.
Beausejour started his career in his native Chile with Universidad Católica where he rose up through the youth ranks to play 16 times for the Santiago based club. While at Católica, he had a one year loan spell at Universidad de Concepción before he moved abroad in 2004 to Switzerland to join Servette.
Since moving to Switzerland, Beausejour has been something of a nomadic figure playing for a number of clubs across different continents. After only one year in Switzerland, Beausejour made the move to Brazil to play for Grêmio where he was a first-team regular, making 55 appearances for the Brazilian giants.
His success with Grêmio saw the Chilean secure a move back to Europe; this time with Belgian club Gent. However, his time in Belgium proved to be an unhappy one as Beausejour failed to make a single appearance in Gent colours and returned to Chile the next season.
He returned to Chilean football in 2007 and had spells with Cobreloa and O’Higgins. It was at O’Higgins that Beausejour enjoyed some of the best football of his career which alerted the new national team coach Marcelo Bielsa to his talents. Bielsa selected Beausejour three times for Chile during his one-year with O’Higgins.
With his reputation soaring, Mexican side Club América decided to sign Beausejour in 2009 and he didn’t disappoint, playing 45 times and scoring on three occasions including one against great rivals Chivas.
As evinced by his displays in the World Cup, Birmingham have gotten a player with pace, power and trickery, qualities which stand Beausejour in good stead to make a rather seamless transition into the hustle and bustle of Premier League football. One concern for Birmingham fans is Beausejour’s inability to settle in one place as he has played for 8 different clubs before moving to St Andrew’s. However, if Beausejour can keep his passport in his pocket and settle in Birmingham, he could prove to be a shrewd investment by Alex McLeish.