Cheltenham Town loan young Birmingham defender

Birmingham City FC - St. Andrews

Will Packwood has been loaned out to Cheltenham Town as he looks for match practice.

Young American defender Will Packwood has signed on loan at Cheltenham Town from Birmingham City, as confirmed by the BBC.

The 21-year-old has had limited action at Birmingham City since returning from injury and will be looking to gain some value match practice while at Whaddon Road.

Packwood has only made one appearance for Birmingham City this season before being loaned out to Colchester United, where in his sole outing before injury he collected a red card in a 6-0 defeat.

The young American defender brings height and aerial ability to a defence but his distribution has often let him down and it's that inability to pass the ball consistently to a team-mate that has seen him overlooked when Birmingham City have been scratching around at centre-back due to injuries. Gary Rowett has preferred his compatriot Jonathan Spector in the heart of the Blues defence.

With Gavin Gunning and Michael Morrison both returning to full training, Packwood's chances of a first team spot were diminishing rapidly and the Concord-born centre-back will be very conscious his Blues deal expires at the end of this season. Impressing while on loan could force his way back into Rowett's thinking or at the very worst put him in the shop window for other clubs interested in his services for Birmingham's next Championship campaign.

Packwood made his debut playing an unfamiliar role at right-back in 2012 due to Birmingham City suffering an injury crisis and managed to remain in and around the squad as players returned. However, a broken leg suffered in an FA Cup game at Leeds United in January 2013 kept him out of the game for eight months after fears the injury was bad enough to force him to retire.

Packwood made 12 appearances in the latter half of the 2013-14 season as he became a regular starter at centre-back, impressing enough to find himself on the verges of Jurgen Klinsmann's thinking for the USA side. He has found it much harder however to break into the team at the start of this campaign with former manager Lee Clark signing David Edgar and Gavin Gunning along with Grant Hall on loan, with Michael Morrison and Rob Kiernan coming to the club under the stewardship of Rowett.

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