LATEST UPDATES: Birmingham City’s misstep should not deter Sunderland and Ipswich Town from pursuing transfer targets

Jay Stansfield has proven himself deserving of a move to the Black Cats or Tractor Boys this summer.

Birmingham City's new hero Jay Stansfield pays tribute to late father after  'best goal' of his career

Jay Stansfield has established himself as one of the most promising young strikers in the EFL this season, with the 21-year-old’s early season performances for Birmingham City winning him numerous accolades.

The former Exeter City player began the season with three goals in his first five games for the Blues, including an injury-time winner against Plymouth Argyle at St Andrews.

The England youth international is currently on loan from Premier League side Fulham and has scored 10 goals for the Blues this season, prompting interest from Sunderland and Ipswich Town.

On paper, one goal in his previous 11 appearances appears to be a dismal run of form, but Stansfield hasn’t been helped by a sequence of unlucky circumstances throughout the campaign while on loan, with his efforts being unjustly rewarded.

Managerial changes at Birmingham City in 2023/24

In a season that began brilliantly under John Eustace, the powers that be at Birmingham City concluded that the former Watford manager was not the perfect fit for the role, despite his side finishing in the top six, which surprised many.

Wayne Rooney was appointed to replace him, and the ex-Manchester United striker oversaw a perilous run of only two wins in 15 games, which saw the West Midlands club fall from the play-off places to just above the relegation zone.

Tony Mowbray¬† was regarded as a safe pair of hands to take over after Rooney’s dismissal, but with the current manager out on medical leave, the club’s never-ending instability persists.

With reports of Gary Rowett returning to the club on an interim basis in the coming weeks, Stansfield might be playing under their fourth manager of the season, not counting the caretaker spells when there wasn’t a head honcho in command.

All of this has contributed to the Blues’ recent struggles, with a lack of team cohesion resulting in only one point from the past 18 available, putting them precariously near to relegation.

Birmingham currently sit just outside the league’s bottom three, with only a goal differential separating them from Huddersfield Town in 22nd place, demonstrating how important every goal is over the course of a Championship season.

Jay Stansfield 23/24 season summary

Stansfield is proof of this, with some fantastic scores during his first season at this level demonstrating that he is a player with a bright future ahead of him, and interested clubs should not be deterred by a recent dry spell in front of goal.

The Fulham loanee never stops trying, with his effervescent performances consistently providing a ray of light for Blues fans, as well as his ability to create something out of nothing with his dogged hounding of defenders.

He is a standout player in the Blues team due to his movement and pace, which allows him to lure defenders into a false sense of security before taking advantage. His recent goal against Southampton exemplifies this, as he latched onto a loose ball and fired home with clinical precision and power.

If he is given frequent service in front of goal, there is no reason why Stansfield cannot score 20 goals next season; a promotion-chasing Championship club or even a bottom-half Premier League side would profit greatly from a player with his movement and pace to glide down the turf.

Jay Stansfield transfer rumours, contract information

Ipswich significantly strengthened their attacking ranks in January with the loan signings of Kieffer Moore and Ali Al-Hamadi from AFC Wimbledon, joining Conor Chaplin, Nathan Broadhead, and Omari Hutchinson in the goalscoring department.

Sunderland’s struggles at the business end of the pitch have been well documented this season, with out-and-out strikers proving to be a problem for the Black Cats, with no forward scoring until New Year’s Day.

At 21 years old, he fits the profile for the North East side, which has focused on nurturing younger talent in recent years, offering a platform for players like Jack Clarke and Amad Diallo to thrive.

The four-year contract he signed at Craven Cottage before moving to Birmingham in the summer demonstrates how highly regarded he is in West London, so a loan deal would be the natural decision for any interested parties this summer.

Stansfield may regret his choice of club this season, but if all goes as planned, he will have plenty more options for the next campaign; he is far too good to compete at the bottom of the second division, so the Black Cats and Tractor Boys will have to compete for the marksman.

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