Birmingham City endured a turbulent campaign last time around which began with Harry Redknapp in the hot seat and ended with Garry Monk prowling the technical area at St Andrew’s – with a heavy interim dose of Steve Cotterill.
The Blues flirted with relegation last term and this season ex-Swansea boss Monk will have been tasked with steering the Birmingham ship through much calmer waters.
City are in a period of transition currently, with Monk’s long-term aim being making the Blues a powerhouse in the Championship again, with promotion the ultimate goal. The current crop of players are generally short of that quality, but even so, the board and fans will want to witness real progress this season.
The obvious big names at Birmingham – Jota, Che Adams, Cheikh N’Doye – will be central to Monk’s plans, but another, previously peripheral figure, could become a key payer at St Andrew’s this season.
Fabbrini has never really settled or established himself at Birmingham since his big money move to the club in January 2016. He spent last season on loan with Real Oviedo in the Spanish Segunda Division.
The 27-year-old is hardly over the hill though, and if he can finally rediscover his best form he could have a real impact at Championship level.
Birmingham struggled for goals last season, notching only 38 across the entire Championship campaign. An in-form Fabbrini could become the architect of the kind of goalscoring opportunities Birmingham barely managed to fashion last year.
A creative midfielder who pops up with the odd goal would transform Monk’s Birmingham side, and if the manager can finally get the best out Fabbrini in a blue shirt then that is exactly the kind of player he’ll have.