With Lee Bowyer guiding Birmingham City to Championship safety this season, the 44-year-old now has the opportunity to build on his squad at St Andrew’s over the summer transfer window with the aim of a higher league finish next year.
And, with a recent report by Last Word on Sports claiming that the Blues, as well as a host of other Championship sides, are considering a move for recently released Huddersfield Town attacking midfielder Alex Pritchard, we’ve taken a look at whether or not this would be a smart signing by the former Charlton boss.
After coming through the youth ranks at Tottenham Hotspur, and enjoying several successful loan spells at teams such as Swindon Town – where he scored eight goals and provided 11 assists over 44 appearances – and Brentford – bagging 12 goals and registering seven assists over 47 fixtures – Pritchard eventually secured an £8.46m move to Norwich City in the summer of 2016.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a fine one-and-a-half year stint at Carrow Road, scoring eight goals and providing 12 assists over his 43 appearances for the Canaries, before then-Premier League side Huddersfield Town spent a whopping £11.12m on the former England U21 international in January of 2018.
This is when things began to take a turn for Pritchard, with the midfielder scoring one goal and providing two assists over his 14 Premier League appearances in 2017/18, before scoring just two goals over 30 fixtures the following season – in which Huddersfield were relegated.
These two strikes were the last the midfielder scored for the club, with the former Tottenham man – whom Christian Eriksen once dubbed a “skilful” player – managing just one assist over his 36 Championship appearances in the club’s 2019/20 and 2020/21 campaigns.
As such, putting aside his whopping £30k-per-week wage, each goal Pritchard scored for Huddersfield cost the club around £3.7m.
And, with Birmingham having struggled financially in recent seasons – having points deducted for breaching the EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules – although the 28-year-old would be available on a free transfer, he is still likely to demand something of an inflated salary.
However, considering the returns the midfielder has given Huddersfield over the past few seasons, it is evident that Pritchard is worth nowhere near the £30k-per-week he was earning at The John Smith’s Stadium, or even half this amount.
Would Pritchard be a good signing?
As such, it would be highly advisable for Bowyer to do all he can to avoid making a move for Pritchard this summer, and rather to invest his presumably limited wage budget in a player with significantly more promise, or even just one with a better recent record in the Championship than the attacking midfielder – as taking what could be a big financial risk on the 28-year-old could bring with it disastrous consequences for the Blues.