Nigel Quashie’s dream of securing a permanent move to Birmingham City has remained unfulfilled after Alex McLeish opted to not renew the midfielder’s deal.
The West Ham United midfielder had spent three consecutive emergency one-month loan spells at St Andrew’s in a bid to return to full fitness whilst boosting Birmingham’s options.
Blues manager McLeish would have had to have retained Quashie until at least the end of the season having used up the player’s 93-day emergency loan allocation.
However, following the arrival of Quashie’s colleague from Upton Park, Lee Bowyer, on a temporary arrangement, McLeish no longer required the former Scotland international’s services.
That news would have come as a bitter blow to Quashie who expressed his strong desire to remain at St Andrew’s to The Post last month. The former West Bromwich Albion player’s arrangement with Birmingham had not only helped rebuild his fitness following a serious ankle injury, it had also helped ease the pain of losing his mother Caroline to cancer last year and allowed Quashie to be closer to his girlfriend and young son who live in the city.
Last month Quashie, 30, told the Birmingham Post: “”I wouldn’t hesitate to come to Birmingham because I think it will be a new start for me, especially with everything I’ve been through.
“Birmingham would be brilliant for me, I’ve really enjoyed it.
“If I could sign here, then I would sign here, no hesitation.
“I owe Birmingham a lot just for giving me an opportunity to put difficult things aside.
“I wouldn’t even blink at it, I would go straight away.
“I’m really happy with how things are going and I wouldn’t change
anything, if I could come to Birmingham then I’d come straight away. Playing for Birmingham is what I want to do.”
It may have been what he wanted to do but it isn’t going to happen as Quashie now finds himself back at a West Ham team who are desperate to cash-in on their out-of-favour squad members.
Quashie, who failed to make Birmingham’s squad of 16 for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff City despite being eligible, made 11 appearances for McLeish’s side with his last start coming during last week’s FA Cup third-round defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
McLeish’s decision to send Quashie back to East London comes as no surprise as the Scotsman has recently boosted his stock of midfielders following the acquisition of Bowyer, Hameur Bouazza, Scott Sinclair, Keith Fahey and Robin Shroot during the January transfer window. The Tunisian midfielder Mehdi Nafti looks set to be the next victim of Birmingham’s increased competition in the centre of the park with the former Racing Santander player already believed to be in talks with a new club.
Meanwhile Stephen Kelly’s return to Birmingham’s starting line-up on Saturday has also coincided with a call-up to Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifying match against Georgia on Feburary 11.
The right-back, who was the target of a rejected bid from Fulham during the summer, made his first appearance in a Birmingham shirt for almost four months against Wolverhampton Wanderers last week having been sidelined with a groin injury.