Birmingham City’s on-pitch struggles seem set to continue for the foreseeable future after the recently published accounts that confirmed fans’ worst fears regarding the club’s dire financial prospects. The Blue’s situation would have been even worse had it not been for the 2020 sale of Jude Bellingham, whose career has gone from strength to strength since leaving for German giants Borussia Dortmund. His phenomenal rise has resulted in him being widely touted for England’s World Cup 2022 squad by the likes of oddschecker, whose extensive list of free no deposit offers can be used to predict the squad.
Should Bellingham make it to the winter tournament in Qatar, it would be a great source of pride for Blues fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about recently. Hot on Bellingham’s heels at Birmingham City are a number of talented young players, including Redditch-born midfielder George Hall. He is expected to make an impact on the first team soon, having made his first-team debut in January of this year. These young players are giving blues fans hope that brighter days may be on the horizon for the club after several years of drift.
George Hall grew up in the Walkwood district of Redditch and started playing football for Headless Cross, before being scouted by Birmingham City. He was educated at St Bede’s Catholic Middle School and helped their under 13 team win the ESFA School’s Cup with a goal in the final. In the Birmingham City academy, he has built a reputation as an athletically gifted box-to-box midfielder with great technique and an ever-growing level of tactical understanding. As he approached his 17th birthday in July 2021, he was attracting interest from multiple Premier League clubs, but turned them down to sign his first professional contract with the Blues. He made his professional debut against Queens Park Rangers in January and fans will be hoping to see more of him over the next year.
Following in the footsteps of Jude Bellingham would seem a daunting task for most young players, especially considering the fact Birmingham City retired his shirt number after his record-breaking transfer to Borussia Dortmund. However, his younger brother Jobe seems equipped for the task having also made his debut as a 16-year-old. While Jude is a box-to-box midfielder, Jobe is a more offensive player who can operate as a midfielder or a forward. He is being tipped for a bright future, with manager Lee Bowyer keen to stress that Bellingham should be judged for his talent rather than his surname. Blues fans are eagerly anticipating seeing him feature more prominently next season.
19-year-old Nico Gordon is a versatile player who is comfortable playing anywhere in defence or midfield. He signed a two-year scholarship with Birmingham City in 2018 after impressing for the club’s various youth teams and made his debut in a June 2020 Championship match against Hull City. He only made three further appearances for the club between then and the end of last season but started this campaign in fine form with a man of the match performance in the EFL Cup. Despite his strong performance in that game, he didn’t appear again until February due to injury, but returned to the first team in March away at Bristol City, scoring his first goal in a 2-1 win.
Redditch United – Birmingham City partnership
Redditch United’s recent announcement of a partnership with Birmingham City has been welcomed by locals, who will be hoping that multiple future Birmingham City youth prospects will come from the town. The relationship between the two clubs isn’t new as there has been a strong rapport between the two them for several years. However, making the partnership official makes a lot of sense, and opens a pathway for promising Redditch players to earn opportunities with the Championship club. Additionally, Redditch United will also be hoping to secure loan deals for talented Birmingham City academy players in need of experience in senior football.