Fabrice Muamba hopes playing regular Premier League football will convince loan star Johan Djourou to stay at Birmingham for the rest of the season - if Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gives the green light.
Djourou has initially joined Blues on loan from Arsenal until next month when his position will be reviewed by Wenger. Midfielder Muamba knew about Djourou’s qualities before he came to St Andrew's from their time together as Gunners team-mates.
And Muamba, who made permanent his move to Blues from the Emirates Stadium last summer, feels it is crucial the Switzerland international stays for the rest of the battle to stay in the top flight.
The England Under-21 player said: "Johan is a good player and I’ve got so much respect for the guy. I’ve known him since about 15 when I was a schoolboy at Arsenal.
"He just seems to get better and better. He has been applying himself well for Birmingham and I am sure the gaffer will be trying his best to keep him here - and we hope he stays. We are good friends but he has got to do what is best for him. The last time we had a conversation about it his mind was not sure what to do.
"But I’m sure when you have had a taste of regular football in the Premier League, you don’t want to go back to playing one week and not playing the next."
Muamba added: "Myself and Sebastian Larsson decided our best opportunity was at Birmingham and we both left Arsenal after being on loan here.
"But then Nicklas Bendtner, who was also on loan here last season, is close to getting opportunities at Arsenal so it just depends on each person."
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish confirmed: "I made a call to Arsene Wenger about Johan and he is going to think about it. I am just waiting on Arsene’s decision but I would like to extend the loan."