Figueroa - Ready or Not?

Last updated : 11 October 2003 By Brian Cartlidge

Wednesday night at Solihull Borough and the Blues Reserves finish the evening with a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers, on the Blues scoresheet once again is £2.5million striker Luciano Figueroa.

After another very hard working performance, in which he took his goal very well, observers couldn't help but notice that he has that uncanny knack of getting himself into goalscoring positions. He got on the end of another couple of crosses but never quite made enough contact with the ball to add to his superb goalscoring tally.

So, with Mikael Forssell not available for selection for the game against Chelsea on Tuesday, is he ready to be thrust into first team action? He's made just a couple of subs appearances since his move from Rosario Central in the summer and many fans want to see him given a chance.

I think not. We've been let down in the past by players getting glowing reports at Reserve team level only to be found wanting when chosen at first team level and at this particular moment, unlike then, there's no need to rush Figueroa.

Blues boss Steve Bruce has, whilst noting the Argentinians goalscoring escapades at reserve team level, suggested that he needs to get physically stronger and that statement alone suggests that the manager is looking for Figueroa to do that with more appearances for the second team with the occasional first team appearance from the subs bench.

Come the new year, fitter, stronger and with a better mentality of the English game, I can see him being a regular amongst the 16-man first team squad and justifying that the gamble on his signature was one most worthy of taking. I just wish I'd bought a few of those cheap Argentinia shirts out in Kuala Lumpur!

Luciano Figueroa (Birmingham) appearances
27/09/2003FA Barclaycard PreBirmingham *2-0Portsmouth0 
23/09/2003Carling Cup SecondBlackpool1-0Birmingham *0 
 No appearances     
Appearances 0 (+ 2 as sub); Goals 0; Yellow cards 0; Red cards 0