Birmingham City manager John Eustace has issued an update on the state of play for his side’s loan players amid the threat of recalls from parent clubs. Blues currently have six men loaned in from elsewhere, many of whom have been key fixtures in John Eustace’s team throughout the campaign.
American defender Auston Trusty, brought in from Arsenal, has proven to be the most important of the half-a-dozen as he has played every single minute available to him in the Sky Bet Championship. The 24-year-old has scored three goals, contributed an assist, and has been present for all eight clean sheets.
Four of the other five loanees - Hannibal Mejbri (Manchester United), Krystian Bielik (Derby County), Dion Sanderson (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Emmanuel Longelo (West Ham United) - have also been regular starters. Przemyslaw Placheta (Norwich City) suffered a long-term shin injury at the start of his loan spell and so he has not been able to have a similar involvement.
When asked if he was comfortable with the situations surrounding his loan players, Eustace said: “I am yeah, I’m very confident and certainly hope they will all be here. They all seem very happy. No one has said anything different than myself. I can rely on them, they’ve been fantastic.
“They’re part of the family and you can see how committed they are to the football club. It’s a really good environment they’re working in and they’re in a good place. They’re all on loan for the season and then it’s whether the club they’re on loan from want to recall them. From my point of view, they’re here for as long as they’re allowed.”
Bluenoses will be hoping Eustace is right as the tight finances at the football club may not allow for many - if any - new permanent additions in January. Birmingham enjoyed a brilliant spell of form before the World Cup break and then returned with a 3-2 victory over Reading on Boxing Day, but Blues have suffered three straight defeats since then.
Recently in the top half and now plummetted down to 17th place, Eustace and his men are still within touching distance of a mid-table battle but the prospect is getting less and less likely. Blues’ next outing is in the FA Cup third round against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, before they head away to Bristol City in the Championship the following weekend.