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£3m Birmingham City deal with Brentford was worth every penny

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Birmingham City’s Championship season has been quite dismal.

Even though the Blues were sixth in the table at the time, they controversially decided to start Wayne Rooney in place of John Eustace in October. It is safe to assume that the move did not go well.

Just two of Rooney’s fifteen games as manager ended in victory. Tony Mowbray took over as manager in January and had a great start to his time at St Andrew’s before resigning in February for health-related reasons.

After a string of disappointing performances, Birmingham reinstated former manager Gary Rowett as an interim head coach. Rowett’s job is to maintain the team in the division. Mark Venus had been serving as caretaker coach during Mowbray’s absence.

The Blues have experienced a relegation struggle in the past, but this time they are without the services of defender Maxime Colin, who left the team in the summer.

After moving from Brentford to Birmingham in 2017, Colin played with the Midlands team for six years, becoming a devoted fan favourite.

£3 million Maxime Colin deal was a big success for Birmingham City

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For a cost of £3 million, Colin left Brentford in August 2017 to join Birmingham. He was one of three Bees players to move to St Andrew’s that summer, along with Jota and Harlee Dean.

There was optimism that the Blues may advance under the seasoned manager after Harry Redknapp led the team to survival on the last day of the previous season after a successful summer of transfer activity, but things did not turn out that way.

Although Redknapp was fired in September following a dismal start to the season and the club’s subsequent Financial Fair Play difficulties as a result of his expenditure, Birmingham fans will be grateful that he brought in Colin.

In his 253 Blues appearances, Colin would go on to score seven goals and dish out eighteen assists. Under a succession of managers, including Redknapp, Steve Cotterill, Garry Monk, Pep Clotet, Lee Bowyer, and Eustace, Colin remained the team’s first-choice right-back.

Maxime Colin’s stats for Birmingham City
Season Division Appearances Goals Assists
2017-18 Championship 42 2 1
2018-19 Championship 44 0 0
2019-20 Championship 47 1 6
2020-21 Championship 44 1 2
2021-22 Championship 34 1 2
2022-23 Championship 48 2 3

Birmingham may have struggled throughout Colin’s time at the club, and the 32-year-old did not achieve a finish higher than 17th with the Blues, but he was a consistent and reliable performer who played a crucial role in keeping the club in the Championship on a number of occasions.

Colin left St Andrew’s at the end of his contract in the summer, but it appears that was against the wishes of former manager Eustace, who revealed that he was keen for the Frenchman to stay.

“He has been a magnificent player for us this season and over the years at Birmingham City,” Eustace told Birmingham Live last April.

“To reach 250 appearances is a fantastic achievement. He’s a true professional, he is a gentleman on and off the pitch, we have been really fortunate to have him at Birmingham over the course of the years.

“I would love him to stay, I am sure everyone would, I am sure that’s a decision he will have to make. From a professional point of view he has been different class. You can see his performances have been eight out of ten every week, he never lets you down and we could have done with a few more like him.”

Despite being a 40-year-old veteran of the EFL, striker Clayton Donaldson is working toward a managerial career.

Colin received a lot of love from Birmingham fans, and it seems that the defender felt the same way, as he sent an emotional statement on social media following the news of his departure.

After signing a two-year contract with Metz in July, Colin went back to his home country of France. This season, he has been a consistent member of Laszlo Boloni’s squad.

In their first season back in Ligue 1, Metz have had a difficult season, but Colin, as he so frequently did at Birmingham, will be trying to guide them to safety in the upcoming days and weeks.

With Ethan Laird and Cody Drameh, Birmingham has a lot of options at right-back right now. However, you have to question if having a guy with Colin’s experience in the locker room would have been helpful during this difficult season.

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