Birmingham

Birmingham should shun Brazilian in favour of this free agent Central American veteran instead

HITC have reported that Birmingham City are amongst the clubs interested in signing Oxford United’s veteran Brazilian defender, Ricardinho. 

Ricardinho enjoyed a fine campaign, during what was a fairly disappointing one for the club itself, in an Oxford United shirt last season. 

The 33-year-old won the Players’ Player of the Year award at the end of his first year in Oxford, but already looks set for pastures new having turned down the offer of a contract extension with his current employers. 

Plenty of Championship outfits, including Birmingham City, appear keen on bringing the Brazilian in, especially as he wouldn’t command a huge transfer fee. Transfermarkt value the left-back at £315k. 

Before splashing the cash on any kind of transfer fee at all though, Garry Monk might first want to take a look at this free agent as an alternative option.

Emilio Izaguirre

Izaguirre is available on a free transfer this summer having cancelled his contract with previous club Al-Fayha, citing his family’s difficulties in settling down in Saudi Arabia as his reason for the premature termination of his deal.

These domestic issues suggest that Izaguirre would be open to a return to Britain, where he has spent much of his career, since a move to Scottish giants Celtic in 2010.

Following his switch to the Glaswegian outfit, the Honduran international became a regular fixture in the starting line up, and typically won a hatful of trophies with the Hoops.

Were Izaguirre to arrive at St Andrew’s this summer, he’d be bringing a lot more pedigree than Ricardinho with him, and the transfer fee saved by avoiding the Brazilian could be used to offset the improved contract terms that Izaguirre would demand.

Better wages tend to means better players, and Izaguirre is a better left-back than Ricadinho, with the track record, including 88 Honduran caps, to prove it. 

The 32-year-old’s energy and inventiveness on the left flank, as well as his defensive awareness, could prove crucial across what is sure to be a gruelling campaign for Garry Monk’s men. 

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