Gary Rowett wants new deal for Emmanuel Mbende - the most physically impressive centre-half you're going to see

Birmingham City FC - St. Andrews

The Birmingham City youngster is out of contract this summer.

Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett says the club are keen to keep Emmanuel Mbende beyond the end of his contract summer, and hopes the 20-year-old can make an impact at senior level next term.

Mbende arrived at St. Andrew's at the start of the campaign, signing a one-year deal upon his release by Borussia Dortmund, and has turned out regularly for the Blues' under-21 side.

Despite not yet making a first-team appearance for either of his two professional clubs, at 6ft 4, the German is certainly built for the man's game.

And Rowett - provided Mbende takes up the club's offer of a new contract - will consider loaning him out if he struggles to break into his plans.

"Sometimes you forget Manny is just 20 because when you look at him he’s probably the biggest, strongest, most physically impressive centre-half you’re going to see and he looks 25 or 26 but he’s not," Rowett told the club website.

"He’s still a young player learning his craft and he’s come into a new environment and a new type of football.

"But we’ve seen enough this season that we would want to keep him again for another year.

"Next year for him, if he can come back flying he might turn out to be the fourth choice centre-half in the first team squad.

"If he doesn’t he could end up having to go out on loan, maybe in League Two so he can see what Saturday three o’clock football is all about."

Rowett has integrated 20-year-old Viv Solomon-Otabor into his first-team set-up this term, while 21-year-old striker Denny Johnstone has been allowed to gain experience on loan at Greenock Morton.

Teenage winger Demarai Gray, who was sold to Leicester City for £3.7million in January, as reported by BBC Sport, also flourished under the former Burton Albion boss at St. Andrew's.

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