Birmingham City have secured the services of striker Matt Derbyshire on loan for a year from Greek side Olympiakos. The 24-year-old frontman has signed up for the season with the possibility that the deal could be made permanent at the end of the 2010/11 campaign.
Derbyshire, who passed his medical in Birmingham on Monday afternoon, joined Olympiakos from Blackburn Rovers on a four-year contract in the summer of 2009 having been on loan with them since the January. Derbyshire got his big break in 2003 when he penned a deal with Blackburn, for whom he went on to play 86 times (scoring 20 goals), earning himself a reputation as a clinical impact substitute. Blues will submit an international clearance application for Derbyshire first thing on Tuesday morning.
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish says he is delighted to have brought in Matt Derbyshire at the second time of asking and confirmed that the striker is in contention for a start against his former club Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
“I’m very glad to have acquired Matt Derbyshire,” said McLeish. “When we went for Chucho, Matt was a player who was run by me at the time, but we’d already committed to Chucho, so I just missed out on him at that particular stage.
McLeish is confident that the former England under 21 international can bring added firepower to the Blues frontline. “I think he’s a decent finisher and if we can get the service to Matt he can score goals because that’s his main strength,” he said. “He’s also got intelligence on the field and make the runs across the line and in behind and he mixes his game up.” Blues host Blackburn on Saturday and McLeish has no concerns about pitching the striker straight in against his former club if he needs to.
“Matt’s in contention for the weekend,” confirmed McLeish. “He’s fit enough and he’s played a couple of Europa League games and he’s ready to go in. “I’ve got a happy selection dilemma this weekend. “There will be some players disappointed to be left out but I can only pick 18, but the squad will play a part this season.”