Birmingham supporters will always yearn for the next Christophe Dugarry; however, chairman David Gold believes that Steve Bruce has unearthed a new talisman in the form of Chris Sutton.
The parallels are crystal-clear for all to see and if Sutton can be the catalyst for Birmingham's revival, then Bruce will surely take the crown of the Premiership's chief wheeler-dealer from Harry Redknapp.
Dugarry arrived at St Andrew's three years ago with the club languishing in 15th position and fearing for their Premiership lives.
However, 16 games and five goals later, including a run of 21 points from nine fixtures, Birmingham were safe and Dugarry was a folk hero.
Such comparisons may be lost on Sutton, who has offered few words on his move to Birmingham.
"I had five great years at Celtic under Martin O'Neill. It has been very disappointing for me to leave but, under the circumstances, I felt that I had been left with no choice," he said with some reticence last night.
"I'm looking forward to playing for Birmingham City. Steve Bruce and Karren Brady could not have done any more to make me feel welcome and I'm looking forward to getting started."
Sutton arrives with the club in dire straits and 19th in the Premiership table and
he will be given 18 games to save the club from relegation.
Yet Gold, who could hardly contain his excitement at Sutton's arrival, is adamant Bruce has pulled yet another rabbit out of the hat after signing the striker on a six-month deal from Celtic.
"Christophe Dugarry was a world-class player, but have we pulled off the same trick with Chris Sutton?" he wondered.
"Christophe was known as Le God," eulogised Gold. "Players of his calibre don't come along too often, but Chris has played against some of the world's best play-ers and biggest teams in Europe.
"He has been one of the most versatile and successful players at the top level of British football. In the past, we have all been hoodwinked
into thinking that certain players can play in a variety of positions, but they can't.
"However, Chris can as I have seen it with my own eyes. He has played at centre-half and centre-forward and he hasn't done it for Accrington Stanley. He has done it at Blackburn, Chelsea and Celtic and he will be a great asset to Birmingham City.
"Unlike Manchester United and Chelsea, we don't have £70 million worth of talent on the bench, so we need versatile players.
"Players such as Kenny Cunningham and Damien Johnson are invaluable because of their versatility, as will Chris be.
"No one man can save us from relegation, but I am hugely optimistic that he could be the catalyst for our revival."
Birmingham's assistant manager, Eric Black, is convinced that Sutton will prima-rily fulfil an attacking role at St Andrew's.
The former Celtic No 2 has a plethora of contacts in Scotland, who have kept him up to speed with Sutton's recent form and Black has been assured that Birmingham have pulled off a real coup in enticing the player.
"Everyone I have spoken to in Scotland thinks it is a great signing," said Black. "He has had a massive impact on Celtic's success over the last five years and, while people might say 'it's only Scotland' they shouldn't forget that Celtic beat teams such as Liverpool and Blackburn in Europe.
"I think he will be used as a striker as he is a very good link player. He will be a
massive threat and is very aggressive and a real winner.
"It isn't an easy time to acquire players of this quality, but he has shown he can produce the goods at all levels."
The signing of Sutton is proof that Birmingham's board will back Bruce in the transfer window. There was conjecture over what funds he would be given, but the early signs are promising.
It will come as a relief to supporters who were concerned after Alexandre Gaydamak's arrival on the board at Portsmouth.
He has spent £15 m buying a half-share in the club with Milan Mandaric and was expected to inject substantial funds into Redknapp's transfer war-chest. However, Gold was bullish over Birmingham landing Sutton before their
relegation rivals. "Obviously, it is exciting when new owners come into a club," he said. "However, I don't think Portsmouth should get too carried away just yet, as I don't know whether he will be the second Roman Abramovich.
"His arrival hasn't changed our policy one bit and one thing I can tell you is that they didn't sign Chris Sutton, we did."
Gold also played down suggestions that Birmingham were in the market for Henrik Larsson before signing Sutton.
"I knew nothing at all about Henrik Larsson," admitted Gold.
"I think it was just agent-speak. They all know that Birmingham are in the market for a striker and that is where these stories usually start."