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Birmingham City, Jordan James deal may be out of reach unless West Brom win promotion

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Steve Evans’ return to Rotherham United has just made this weekend’s clash with the Millers a much tougher proposition for Birmingham City.

After just two goals in his first two seasons at the club, Jordan James has transformed his game into more of an all-action role in the current campaign, finding the back of the net eight times in Birmingham’s fight to stay in the second tier.

The teenager got himself off the mark with a piledriver from all of 25 yards against Huddersfield Town in October, before earning his side a priceless victory against Sheffield Wednesday with a late winner the month after.

James’s rise to prominence as a box-to-box midfielder has earned him plenty more admirers this season, as he continues to showcase his complete arsenal of talents that put him head and shoulders above his teammates at St Andrews.

Only striker Jay Stansfield has found the back of the net more times than James this season, while his return of a goal for every five shots taken shows just how clinical he is when he gets the chance, with no Blues player topping that stat.

With the sort of qualities that could see him easily have a career at the highest level of the game, a move to West Bromwich Albion would seem unlikely at this point in his career, unless Carlos Corberan can get his side promoted via the playoffs this season.

Jordan James 23/24 Championship stats
Appearances 41
Starts 24
Goals 8
Goals/90 0.33
As of April 18th, 2024, Source: FBRef

As things stand, Albion currently sit in fifth spot ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, looking like a shoe-in for the top six with a seven-point buffer to seventh-place Hull City, although the Tigers do have a game in hand over their rivals.

However, the path to becoming a Premier League side next season seems tricky for the Black Country side, with two of Leeds United, Southampton, Ipswich Town, or Leicester City set to compete in the end-of-season lottery alongside them.

If they fail to secure promotion, the chances of bringing Jordan James to the club may dwindle. Interest in the midfielder is sure to ramp up throughout the summer, with clubs like Newcastle United reportedly interested. It would be hard for Birmingham City to hold out for anything but a top-tier side, whether in England or abroad.

Birmingham City knew the talent they had when they signed James to a three-year deal in the summer of 2022, and with the midfielder coming close to entering the final year of his contract at St Andrew’s, a summer move seems increasingly likely. The Blues would aim to maximize the profit from the transfer, likely involving a sell-on clause for any future deals.

Jordan James

In terms of James’ career, a move to Albion could guarantee game time at a higher level next season, although whether that is with a team competing at the top of the Championship again or in the top flight remains to be seen.

With an eight-figure price tag said to be on his head, it would be hard for the Baggies to justify that sort of outlay in the second tier, but with the influx of cash that comes with Premier League promotion, they might well try their luck this summer if all goes their way.

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