On July 27th 2015, Birmingham City announced the signing of Maikel Kieftenbeld from Dutch side FC Groningen for an undisclosed fee.
The 28-year-old made his debut on the opening game of the 2015-16 season against Reading, but he has only really started to make a name for himself over the past season or so at St Andrew’s.
A lot of supporters were over the moon with the club’s decision to secure the services of Kieftenbeld, as they took to the confirmation on Twitter to express their delight over the signing.
— Geoff Birchenall (@AsgardRoot) July 27, 2015
— Spanish property (@thebadandgoodES) July 27, 2015
— Andy W Blue Flame Special (@maisonblanc19) July 27, 2015
— Drew Hill (@DrewHill1998) July 27, 2015
— George Yiend (@GeorgeYiend) July 27, 2015
— Bimmonds (@RogerRathbone) July 27, 2015
Maikel Kieftenbeld started off in the youth system at Dutch side FC Twente, but things didn’t quite work out as he ended up moving to Go Ahead Eagles, where he signed his first professional contract.
The Dutchman made a name for himself during his time at FC Groningen after switching from a right-back to a central midfielder. He enjoyed Europa League football and even captained the side during the 2013-14 season, with his passing and tackling ability working wonders.
On the 27th of July 2015, Gary Rowett secured the services of Maikel Kieftenbeld from the Dutch side.
He went straight into the starting eleven for the opening game of the season, putting in a dominant performance. And, he went on to score three goals in 22 days in January 2016, which helped earn him a nomination for the Championship Player of the Month award.
The central midfielder finally established himself as a regular in the 2016-17 season.
Interestingly, he was reported to have signed a two-year contract with Derby County for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2017, but the league refused to ratify the transfer because the relevant documentation had not been submitted before the end of the transfer window, so Kieftenbeld remained a Birmingham player.
His performances this season have proved just how important it was to keep him at St Andrew’s, as his tackling and intercepting ability constantly gets the Blues out of trouble.
Nevertheless, it comes as no surprise that supporters were delighted to see Kieftenbeld join the club back in the summer of 2015, as Rowett managed to secure what was a brilliant agreement. He has been one of their standout performers over the past season or so and is currently one of the best central midfielders in the Championship.
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