Opinion: Birmingham should look to this Manchester City man to replace Riley McGree in the middle of Lee Bowyer transfer access

Birmingham City are heading for a new year and they will start it without two of their biggest attack threats this season in Riley McGree and Tahith Chong.

Chong suffered a groin injury in October and is one who will rule out the Dutchman for a number of months – Chong remains a Blues player while his rehabilitation is being carried out by the Red Devils, but the club is trying to renegotiate his deal to pay less . pay.

As for McGree, he has been able to afford a number of matches in the eleven starters recently and he has seized the opportunity and scored in victories against Swansea City and Bristol City.

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However, the Australian national team player will return to his parent club Charlotte FC from MLS in January ahead of their initial season in the league, which means additions need to be made in the attacking area in the mid-season window.

As Chong is not expected to be in shape again until at least March, there could be a chance his loan deal could be terminated and Birmingham are looking for someone who can give them four full months of attacking spark – and that player could be contracted to the opposite side of Manchester to Chong.

That player is James McAtee, who has ripped it up for Man City in their under-23s to the point where he should be considered for a Championship loan in early 2022.

The 19-year-old replaced another academy player at Cole Palmer for his Premier League debut on Sunday when the Citizens beat Everton, and in September he made his full senior bow against Wycombe Wanderers in the EFL Cup.

However, it is his form of the U-23s this season that is extremely striking, where he has scored 10 goals in as many Premier League 2 appearances and has also added two assists to that record, and he has also scored four goals in the UEFA Youth League in three appearances.

McAtee is primarily an offensive midfielder, which is the void to be filled when McGree returns across the Atlantic, and he has already been linked with a Championship club ahead of the window opening in Swansea City.

However, the Blues could offer regular first-team football, and feeding people like Troy Deeney and Scott Hogan could see that Bowyer’s team was very productive in the second half of the season – it would be foolish if McAtee was not on the club’s radar.

Bowyer has already admitted he will have to drive and shop as there will be no money available for transfer fees being used so loans could be targeted again and that is why McAtee would be ideal.

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