Birmingham bring Italian flair to their attack

Birmingham City FC - St. Andrews

Forward Diego Fabbrini has been loaned in from Watford by Birmingham City for the remainder of the season

Birmingham City have secured the loan signing of Diego Fabbrini from Watford today with the loan deadline almost passed.

The 24-year-old Italian was previously on loan at Millwall but, following the sacking of Ian Holloway on March 10, has been out of the team, making one substitute appearance in the 0-0 draw with Brighton.

The forward can play either as a second striker, an attacking midfielder or as a winger and with Birmingham City looking a bit stale in forward areas in recent matches, it's hoped that Fabbrini can inject some spark into their forward play. Fabbrini was the standout player in the meeting between Millwall and Birmingham City in mid-February at St Andrew's, which the Lions won 1-0.

The chief question will be, who he will replace? Andrew Shinnie, who normally plays behind the striker in the "number 10" role, has markedly improved under Gary Rowett but is incapable of playing 90 minutes, failing to complete a full match in any of the 23 league matches he has played in this season. David Cotterill has been inconsistent on the right but his assist and goal return record should ensure that he remains in the team regardless. However, with more competition for his place, it might be that Cotterill once again kicks on to make sure he keeps the shirt.

Birmingham City have also loaned out four youngsters prior to the end of the window, with midfielder Liam Truslove going to Leamington, striker Denny Johnstone going to Rowett's former club Burton Albion and rookie defenders Nat Kelly and James Fry off to Kidderminster Harriers.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch