Kerim Mrabti: West Brom old boy Jonas Olsson helped sell Birmingham to new signing

Kerim Mrabti (left) was in the same team at Djurgaardens as former West Brom skipper Jonas Olsson (centre)
Kerim Mrabti (left) was in the same team at Djurgaardens as former West Brom skipper Jonas Olsson (centre)

Birmingham City's latest signing Kerim Mrabti says he was sold on his move to the Midlands by West Brom old boy Jonas Olsson - his team-mate at Djurgaardens.

The Stockholm-born winger, 24, admits the time was right to leave Sweden.

"I've been playing at the highest level in Sweden for four years and it feels the time is right to go," he said.

"When I heard about Birmingham, I spoke with guys who'd been around this area, especially Jonas Olsson who was at West Brom. He told me it's a great city."

Mrabti is the one permitted signing that the Championship club are allowed in this January window, following their transfer embargo last summer and continued monitoring by the EFL in the wake of heavy losses.

"He brings us something slightly different to what we've got, in terms of footballing intelligence," Blues boss Garry Monk told BBC WM 95.6.

"He's primarily a wide player who can play central, so he covers a few bases and, to do it with the restrictions we have, we are delighted."

Second Swede in the second city

Three-times capped international Mrabti, who signed on Friday, will be only the second Swede to play for Blues, to follow the path first trodden by Seb Larsson 13 seasons ago.

He was not involved in Friday's defeat at high-riding Norwich City. And, with Blues having no game this weekend as they are out of the FA Cup, that will have given him a fortnight to have fully acclimatised ahead of his expected debut at Swansea next Tuesday.

Monk's Blues have not only been eliminated from the cup in their current winless five-game run, but have slipped to 11th in the Championship - seven points off a play-off place.

In that run, they have scored just three times - and Mrabti hopes he has the game to do something about it.

"I have played in all six positions at the front and really where I play depends on the team and the formation and where the coach wants me. But my biggest quality is playing either as a winger or as a second striker," he added.

Kerim Mrabti was talking to BBC WM's Richard Wilford.

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