Manchester United loan two defenders to Birmingham City

by Tracey Germaine

Birmingham City have completed the signings of Tom Thorpe and Tyler Blackett from Manchester on loan. Thorpe joins on an emergency loan until May 3rd and United will have the option to recall him after 28 days while Blackett has joined until the end of the season.

Strangely, this is the first loan move for 21-year-old Thorpe who has been a mainstay in the United Under-21 side, having captained the team to last season’s Under-21 Premier League title.

Usually it’s quite difficult for defenders to stand out when there are good attacking players on show so it’s particularly impressive that he was shortlisted for the Reserve Player of the Year award, where Thorpe lost out to Adnan Januzaj. He also captained the FA Youth Cup winning side in 2011.

He’s a classy defender who can play either side of central defence as well as right back and central midfield. He reads the game excellently and is regularly found in the right place at the right time. His use of the ball is excellent and he’ll be a good addition to the Birmingham side who are looking to strengthen their squad following the early terminations of Kyle Bartley and Dan Burn’s loans by their parent clubs.

Pacy defender Tyler Blackett, 19, is another member of the FA Youth Cup winning side of 2011. He has already spent part of this season out on loan in the Championship at Blackpool where he did well but found his chances in Paul Ince’s side limited.

Blackett mainly plays at left-back but can also push forward and play on the left wing as well as playing on the left side of central defence.

Thorpe and Blackett are both in contention to take their places in Lee Clark’s squad to face Derby County. Thorpe has been given squad No. 5. Birmingham are currently just five points above the relegation zone and have not won at home since October 1.

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