Six Birmingham City players guaranteed a place after the January window - with one surprise

We take a look at the six Birmingham City players who we think will remain in John Eustace’s team following the January transfer window.

The January transfer window is nearly upon us with John Eustace ready to make some reinforcements to build momentum after a strong start to the season. Birmingham City have looked like an entirely different team this campaign and headed into the World Cup break in 13th position in the Championship table.

Blues have maintained the equal-third-best defensive record in the entire division so far this term, exceeding all expectations. Nobody can blame supporters for being ambitious about the rest of the season ahead as a result - and Blues may even turn to the transfer market in the hope to move even further up the table.

Eustace and his side will no doubt be incredibly relieved by the four-week break without competitive action, as Birmingham played a remarkable eight matches in the space of 26 days before it. The time off gives the man in the dugout the opportunity to reassess the current crop at St Andrew’s - and potentially work out areas for improvement.

With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at the six players we believe will remain at Birmingham after the January transfer window, including a couple who are near enough untouchable. There are also one or two picks that may come as a surprise given debate surrounding them.

John Ruddy

Starting off with an easy choice, Ruddy will of course be guaranteed to remain at the club having recently signed a one-year contract extension. We would have selected him even without this brilliant news, though, as the man between the sticks has been arguably the player of the season so far even despite his advancing years.

Dion Sanderson

Many Bluenoses may grow concerned that Sanderson could be recalled from his loan spell, just as he was last season, but there is a very slim chance of this happening. Even though his parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers are struggling, he has never made a senior appearance for them and his value is only on the rise while he’s on form with Blues.

Jobe Bellingham

After making his first-ever Championship start in the final game before the World Cup break, against Sunderland, Bellingham can only get better. There is plenty of attention on the young man, especially with his older brother Jude tipping him to follow in his footsteps, but at just 17 years of age, he’s here to stay.

Lukas Jutkiewicz

Despite playing just 354 league minutes so far this campaign, Jutkiewicz has shown he still has what it takes to add something to this Birmingham side. He’s been a real aerial presence and often shows plenty of energy despite heading deeper into his 30s. The best example of this was in the 2-1 away win at Stoke City, as the striker won 16 aerial duels. Perhaps a surprise choice, but we feel he has proven his worth.

Juninho Bacuna

Since he signed from Rangers at the dawn of the year, Bacuna has played a key role in Blues becoming a better team in the centre of the field. He has shown plenty of desire and drive whenever called upon and is a versatile option when fixture congestion tots up. Even if there is interest in January, it is unlikely that Birmingham would sell a player of his importance.

Harlee Dean

When he returned from injury at the start of October, many wondered if he should slot straight back in given fitness concerns, but Dean played incredibly well with seven successive starts. In that period, Blues won four games and kept four clean sheets. At 31, it’s unlikely there will be too much transfer interest, and we feel once he returns from a fresh injury concern he will play a key role.