Dan Crowley looks set to leave Birmingham City in the January transfer window, with a number of unnamed clubs showing an interest in his signature.
The 23-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at St. Andrews, making only three appearances for the club this season.
Crowley joined Birmingham in the summer of 2019 from Eredivisie side Willem II, and has made 45 appearances for the club in all competitions since then.
Crowley has faced stiff competition in the number 10 role this season, after Aitor Karanka drafted in Jon Toral and Riley Mcgree in the summer transfer window, as well as adding free agent Alen Halilovic several weeks back.
Karanka has recently played down suggestions of an ‘attitude problem’ with Crowley, and stated that he has struggled to get game time as a result of squad rotation.
When asked if Crowley could move away from the club this month, Karanka admitted this might be the case.
“I think so because Dan is the kind of player that for me is a shame,” the head coach said.
“I always said he is a very good kid, he trains really well and as a manager, as a coach it is frustrating when you can’t find him a place on the pitch. But he does his best everyday.
“I think the best thing for him is [to] move [to] another team and I told him always that myself and the club will help him whatever he wants.
“He is a really good professional and he deserves to be helped.
“I don’t think it is the quality, it’s nothing against him, the opposite, everything I can say about him is good things.
“But it is something that I prefer to play with other players – just like this.”
Most Blues fans will agree that Crowley should have been given more minutes this season regardless of the new faces to come through this season. Although we have maybe yet to see Crowley’s best football played in a Blues shirt, there have been enough signs to suggest that something could come from the former Arsenal youngster with a consistent run of games and a more confident Blues side.
However, confident is the last thing you could call this current crop of players, with another relegation battle surely on the cards on the back of six straight defeats and a dismal home record over 2020.
Karanka hasn’t struck us as someone who will take many risks with his line-ups and has often gone for a reserved approach in games, sometimes even opting for no attacking number 10’s in the side, dwindling Crowley’s chances even further.
His omission from the side might seem unfair however we don’t know the ins and outs with this and there’s likely a lot more to it than may seem.
However with six months left on his current deal and Karanka publicly opposing a large squad, it would seem a move away from Birmingham City seems the most logical for both parties.
Having said that the type of move he makes will be a conversation starter. Crowley is still young and Blues fans grew to like him in patches last season, therefore a loan move shouldn’t be written off, especially if the Coventry-born midfielder still sees his long-term future at the club.
The funds freed up from his departure could always be used for an attacking arrival in the winter transfer window, something we would all appreciate given the club’s current plight.