Emmanuel Mbende: Birmingham City sign ex-Dortmund defender

Emmanuel Mbende
Emmanuel Mbende was with Borussia Dortmund for about seven years

Birmingham City have signed teenage defender Emmanuel Mbende following his summer exit from Borussia Dortmund.

The 19-year-old, who has been on trial with Blues for a month since leaving the German Bundesliga side, has signed up for the rest of the 2015-16 season.

"He'd been at Dortmund a while," Blues boss Gary Rowett told BBC WM 95.6.

"He felt his opportunities were limited given the huge powerhouse of a club they are. But he fills a gap. We think he's different to what we have."

Blues falter at home after bright start
Birmingham City lie ninth in the Championship table after a promising start to the season, in which they have lost just twice in eight games - successive home defeats by Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United.

Mbende, who has played for Cameroon at youth level, has made three appearances for Birmingham's development side and will initially be part of their Under-21 squad rather than the first team.

Rowett added: "We've had a look at Emmanuel for two or there weeks and we've taken him on a development contract.

"He's about six foot four wide and six foot four high. There's a lot to work on because of his attributes. He's technically very good and we haven't got an Under-21 defender of that size and power.

"Obviously he's got a good pedigree at Dortmund. It's a case of us giving him an opportunity to see if we can push him into the first team group."

BBC WM phone-in with Gary Rowett
Blues boss Gary Rowett will be available to talk to City fans on Monday 5 October (18:00-19:00 BST) on the Football Phone-In on BBC WM 95.6.

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