‘A player that needs to start every week’ - A Livingston assessment of Odin Bailey

BirminghamWorld spoke to Callum Carson of the West Lothian Courier to get an update on how Odin Bailey is faring across the border

Birmingham City midfielder Odin Bailey is settling in well up in his temporary home of Scotland and is improving game by game.

That’s according to Callum Carson of the West Lothian Courier who believes Bailey is going to be ‘massive’ for Livingston for the remainder of the SPL season.

Sign up to our BirminghamWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The 21-year-old has played 10 games in all competitions so far for the Lions and has recently started showing his quality, scoring two fantastic goals in the last two games.

There were even calls from some in the Birmingham fanbase to bring him back home in recent weeks. Up until Saturday’s 2-1 win over Swansea City, the Blues couldn’t buy a goal and yet they had one of their own north of the border scoring worldies.

Having said that, Lee Bowyer’s men have finally found their shooting boots and albeit it was more through desperation than anything else, it’s probably better for both parties that Bailey stays in Scotland - at least for now.

Here’s everything Carson had to say about the young Blues starlet.

What have you made of Odin Bailey so far at Livingston?

He already looks to have developed massively and has improved from his first game to now being a player that needs to start every week.

The first few appearances you could see he had talent but there was a definite lack of consistency along with the worry that he might not be able to cope with the rough and tumble side of the game in Scotland.

He’s playing at a higher level than last season and it took him a few games to get to grips with it, but it’s already difficult to imagine him not starting when fit. In the win over Celtic, he came off the bench for the final half hour and put in an incredible defensive display as well as looking a threat every time he was on the ball.

That seemed to be a bit of a catalyst moment because he’s arguably been the club’s most exciting player since and has scored two tremendous goals in his last two games. He should be a massive player for the Lions for the remainder of the season.

His development at Livingston pretty much echoes Matija Sarkic’s from a couple of years ago where you’re not entirely sure when the signing is made given a real lack of experience at that level, but a few games in and it’s obvious he’s good enough - and only going to get better.

Have the fans taken to him?

Odin was actually in a bit of a tricky position when he joined because he was replacing a real fan favourite in Josh Mullin.

He had been a huge part the club’s back-to-back promotions a few years ago and is arguably the best crosser of a ball in Scotland. He returned to the club last season and started off well but fell in and out of the team and was likely to be a squad player this season.

I think a lot of fans were sceptical at first, or even judging him purely as a direct comparison to Josh, but they’ve really taken to him now.

Much like myself, I think many were of the opinion fairly early on that there was a player in there, he just needed time to show it and he has already started to do just that.

Any glaring strengths/weaknesses that he’s displayed?

There’s definitely question marks from a defensive standpoint but certainly can’t fault his energy or effort in that regards.

Livingston are likely to be amongst the bottom four or five teams so he’s going to have to roll his sleeves up and do plenty of dirty work during the course of the season.

He’s been playing on the right of a forward three and been asked to cut in onto his left, which he’s shown he’s tremendous at, but I’d still like to see him try and beat players down the wing rather than cutting inside all the time. Granted, that’s perhaps not his natural game, but it would get the defenders thinking if he’s able to go back in and out when taking a man on.

Do you think of what you’ve seen of him so far, that he’s capable of Championship football?

Right now, probably not. But if he continues his development and improves in the way you’d hope a 21-year-old would, I’d have to imagine he’d be ready to at least fight for some genuine game time at Birmingham next season.