Birmingham City midfielder Ivan Sanchez has joined Spanish side Real Valladolid on a loan deal until the end of the season.
The 29-year-old has returned to his country of birth to aid the White and Violets promotion push back to La Liga.
Sanchez will be joining a side sat second in the Segunda División, and will be hoping to earn some first-team minutes that he may have struggled to maintain at Birmingham.
Sanchez’s time at St Andrew’s…
The winger joined the Blues at the beginning of last season, coming over from Spanish second division side Elche. Sanchez was a mainstay in the starting eleven throughout the 20/21 campaign, scoring two goals across 41 games in all competitions.
He has struggled for game time under the management of Lee Bowyer, however, and has played just three times this season mainly due to recurring injuries. He last appeared in a victory over Luton Town back in August, and he will be hoping to kickstart his season off again back in Spain.
Sanchez has previously played for a number of Spanish clubs, including the likes of Almería, Albacete and Real Jaén. The 29-year-old will be looking to achieve his second promotion from the Segunda División.
Birmingham’s replacements for Sanchez?
Sanchez leaving certainly decreases the amount of wide depth Bowyer has at his disposal. The Blues have experimented with both three and four defender formations so far this season, with out-and-out wingers often being unfavourable.
The attacking arrivals of Onel Hernández, Lyle Taylor and Taylor Richards from Norwich, Nottingham Forest and Brighton respectively will certainly have made game time even more difficult for the Spaniard. Birmingham now have a plethora of talented options in forward positions.
The Blues’ next matchup comes this Friday at home to Sheffield United, as they look to distance themselves even further from the drop zone. Fans will be hoping their January acquisitions can all hit the ground running as we enter the second half of the season.