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Wayne Rooney believes Troy Deeney’s arrival at Birmingham City won’t have too much affect on the team’s playing style.
Speaking ahead of Derby County’s trip to St Andrew’s on Friday the Rams’ manager reckons Blues will continue with their ‘direct’ approach.
And while Birmingham City fans are looking forward to seeing Deeney play for the first time since he joined from Watford, Rooney is aiming to work the 33-year-old hard.
“I don’t think [Deeney will change the dynamic of the strike force] too much, if I’m being honest,” Rooney said.
“I think the way Birmingham play, they’ve obviously got their identity of how they play.
READ MORE: Wayne Rooney delivers verdict on Troy Deeney threat and ‘one thing’ Birmingham City ‘don’t like’
Jude Bellingham’s stock continues to rise – with his assertive display for England against Andorra generating yet more headlines.
The 18-year-old has impressed in every step of his meteoric career, from Birmingham City ’s academy, to their first team, to Borussia Dortmund, on to the continental competition and now on to the highest stage of them all.
His latest showing came as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions defeated Andorra 4-0, with Bellingham lighting up Wembley.
All of which led to the production of more speculation about his future as he enters his second season in the Bundesliga.
On Tuesday night the Daily Star claimed Liverpool were keen on signing him in the summer of 2022 – for a whopping £80million.
The Liverpool Echo dismissed such conjecture as ‘hugely premature’ the following morning, while 90minutes claim the Reds, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are all in ‘regular contact’ with Borussia.
However, they say the German team has no intention of selling one of their crown jewels – and could instead cash in on Erling Haaland.
Indeed they repeated their claim that Bellingham is about to extend his contract with his current club.
The classy midfielder joined Blues as an Under 8 and progressed through the levels to play 44 times for Pep Clotet’s first team. Afterhe chose Borussia over Manchester United in a £25million deal that was a lifeline for Blues.
Get well soon
Birmingham City youngster Adan George has had surgery after injuring his knee in pre-season.
The 19-year-old has suffered a torn ACL and faces months on the sidelines interrupting his 2021/2022 campaign.
Which is a blow after the teenager finished last season on such a high, scoring both goals in the Under 23s’ Professional Development League play-off final victory.
First team opportunities might have been limited this season, particularly with Troy Deeney now at St Andrew’s as part of four front-line strikers.
George joined Blues from West Brom in 2015 and has been one of the best youngsters in the Wast Hills youth set up.
As well as scoring regularly for the Development team he has trained regularly with the senior squad and made his Blues debut in September 2020.
Aitor Karanka handed him a start in the Carabao Cup loss to Cambridge and he also featured the following week in the 1-0 victory over Brentford.
Wayne Rooney has hit out at the scheduling of Derby County’s trip to Birmingham City.
The Rams’ trip to St Andrew’s has been brought a day forward and will be shown live on Sky Sports on Friday evening.
But Rooney is irked by that given the fact the match now comes just 48 hours after England play Poland.
Derby winger Kamil Jozwiak will feature in that World Cup qualifier, Rooney says ruling him out of the game against Blues.
Derby are already without the suspended Craig Forsyth following his retrospective three-game ban for an incident against Nottingham Forest.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference he said: “The players had some time off to rest, get some energy back.
“The frustrating thing is we’ve got Kamil Jozwiak away, he’ll play tonight for Poland, so there’s no way he’ll be able to play on Friday. It’s impossible.”
“My squad is very thin. If we get injuries we’re in big trouble. It isn’t ideal but I’ll do everything I can to get the most out of these players.
“I don’t think games should be on a Friday (after an international break). To not have Kamil available because our fixture gets moved is frustrating. I don’t see why it can’t be 24 hours later on TV.”