According to Voetbal Primeur, Birmingham City have agreed to sign midfielder Justin Lonwijk – a player who Derby County manager Phillip Cocu will know well.
The Dutch report claims the 20-year-old will join the Blues in January.
Lonwijk came through the PSV Eindhoven youth academy. He spent nine years at PSV, with five of those years in the youth teams with Cocu the first team manager.
The 6ft 2inch midfielder struggled to break through at PSV. He joined FC Utrecht on a three-year deal last May, but it seems he is set for a quick move to St Andrew’s.
Birmingham haven’t been shy in signing players from abroad under Pep Clotet.
The likes of Alvaro Gimenez, Fran Villalba, Bernard Sun and Ivan Sunjic have joined the Blues in the past six months, with the latter costing a reported £6.3 million.
Lonwijk is reportedly about to join the list of foreign arrivals under Clotet. However, it begs the question as to why Derby haven’t rivalled the Blues for his signature.
Should Derby County have gone in for Justin Lonwijk?
The Rams need a major overhaul at Pride Park. Too many players are ageing, past their peak and must make way for exciting young players suited to Cocu’s style.
The Dutchman signed a four-year deal at Derby last summer. He has spoken about a long-term strategy, implementing youth players and recruiting well.
Many supporters are hopeful Cocu can tap into the foreign market to sign some potential gems. However, thus far, there have been few signs and little talk of that happening.
The Eredivisie no doubt has several top-quality players seeking to move to a better league. Lonwijk could be among those, and Birmingham are willing to take the gamble.
Also see: Derby man opens up on his ‘mistake’ which cost club £200m windfall
Also see: Has £2.75m Lampard signing been given one last chance to save Derby career?