McLeish plotting Old Trafford loan raid
Posted by nickogs20 on June 18, 2008
Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish is facing up to a season in the Championship, and one of his first ports of call when looking for the players to get his side back into the top flight looks set to be his managerial mentor Sir Alex Ferguson. McLeish was a key player in Fergie’s successful Aberdeen side in the early 80’s and has hinted he’ll be looking to acquire some of his former boss’ most promising youngsters on a temporary basis to aid Birmingham’s promotion bid.
The former Rangers and Scotland manager told Sky Sports “I talk with Sir Alex now and again, including about the possibility of loan players when the time comes. The loan system is there and, with it being there, you’ve got to use it.”
Birmingham have taken a number of youngsters on loan from Arsenal in recent seasons, but it seems their attention may now be turning the Champions’ way. So which players are likely to crop up in conversation between the two Alex’s as potential loanees? I’m far from an expert on Birmingham’s player needs but defence and midfield look like the areas most in need of strengthening. Craig Cathcart’s disrupted campaign last year might make him a bit too much of a risk for a promotion-seeking Championship club but he’s a long shot, as fellow defenders James Chester and Richard Eckersley would be. Danny Simpson would probably be the most likely defensive candidate, but that would depend on our own transfer activity this summer.
It’s in the middle of the park where United probably have more players that would interest McLeish. Darron Gibson and Lee Martin are coming off Championship loan spells where they’ve shown promise but are still yet to fully prove themselves – this might be the opportunity. Chris Eagles comes into the equation for similar reasons. Don’t rule out someone like Sam Hewson or maybe even Rodrigo Possebon either – both are at that level where reserve football probably isn’t enough of a challenge any longer.