Blues may lose Djourou
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce admits his club will struggle to keep on-loan Johan Djourou for the whole season.
By Andrew Spencer
Last Updated: 25/10/07 12:23pm
Birmingham manager Steve Bruce admits he may struggle to keep on-loan defender Johan Djourou at St Andrews for the second half of the season.
The Arsenal youngster, who is currently out with a hamstring injury, has impressed first in midfield and then at centre-back for the Blues since joining in the summer.
Extending the deal beyond the January transfer window could prove difficult for Bruce, as Gunners defender Kolo Toure will be playing for the Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations in the new year.
The future of Djourou is one of several issues Bruce is keen to resolve but his hands are tied until prospective new owner Carson Yeung reveals his plans.
Bruce, who is hoping to meet Yeung this weekend, said: "You are thinking ahead to January already. Will Djourou go back to Arsenal? Will Kolo Toure probably be needed for the African Nations Cup? That could well happen.
"If he goes back, there's a big decision we have to try and sort out. Johan has already shown he is a class act.
"We've already lost Borja Oubina through injury for the season. A midfielder of his type is what we needed. He lasted 10 to 11 minutes at Liverpool but you could see he had something.
"There is Mikael Forssell and the injury problems he has had. That is another one to be addressed. Then of course you've got people drifting out of contract like Mehdi Nafti who need to be sorted for the future.
"All of those issues as a manager you try to put into place. You try to do your homework now and say 'that's what we need'.
"You might need a centre-half, a central midfielder and a striker. But you can't do anything at the moment."
Forssell is hoping to play some part in Saturday's match against Wigan having played 90 minutes for the reserves on Monday as he continues his recovery from a hernia operation.