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Pep Clotet discusses the importance of Birmingham City’s new signing

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Birmingham City manager Pep Clotet has said that the arrival of French forward Jeremie Bela means that he has the options to play a 4-3-3 as well as a 4-4-2.

French winger Jeremie Bela joined Birmingham City on a free transfer last week and manager Pep Clotet is happy to have completed the deal to bring him in. The Spaniard has said he tried to make a move for Bela in the summer transfer window but a deal failed to materialise.

But now, Clotet has got his man and he has said that the deal is important for him as it allows for him to play three forwards if he wants to, given the versatility that Bela can bring to the Blues. Clotet spoke to Birmingham Live about the arrival of Bela, saying:

“We wanted to get him in the summer, the player was sorting his situation with the other club, a few things that were not football related that I didn’t get involved with. I thought ‘Well, we just need to forget and do something else’, I was very pleased when we were able to invite him to train with us, to assess him and have a good look at his fitness levels, which were very good.

“That makes me happy because I think he is a player who can help us, he adds options to us, the fact we are using two forwards to attack and we can turn that into three forwards to attack. That’s a massive thing tactically for us, it opens a massive range of tactical opportunities that I really like.

“I checked him during the summer, I saw all his actions from last season, we clipped all his actions from all the games he played and I watched them one after the other. We had a video of more than an hour of only what he was doing in the game, defensively and offensively.

“When that was going to be more possible I checked his performances in Division. In Spain, he played more forward, but he played on the wing, three forwards and he was on the side, mostly the left side coming in.

“In France as well he played down the middle so he is very versatile and his track record in Spain he was the leading goalscorer of a team that played very good football. Playing wide – that says a lot, some of the goals were headers, most come from big power, big understanding of the game where the space is and attacking it.”

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