Lukas Jutkiewicz to be Zola's first signing at Birmingham

Lukas Jutkiewicz to be Zola's first signing at Birmingham

The striker leaves Burnley after failing to break back into the first team after injury.

Chris Lincoln

Birmingham City have decided to take the option of converting Lukas Jutkiewicz's loan spell into a permanent signing for an undisclosed fee reported to be in the region of a seven figure sum.

It means the striker will become new manager Gianfranco Zola's first reruit when the transfer window reopens in January.

The long road to recovery

Jutkiewicz had been a regular for Burnley in their last Premier League regime, making 25 appearances in the 2014/15 season after signing from Middlesbrough over two years ago. However, a knee injury at the beginning of the Championship season in 2015 kept the former Coventry City star out of action following five appearances in the second tier.

The 27-year old only recovered at the start of this current campaign following Burnley's return to the top flight. Since then the striker has struggled to hold down a first team spot, making just two subsititute league appearances and the solitary start in the EFL Cup against Accrington Stanley.

The striker made 35 appearances for Burnley (photo: Getty Images)
The striker made 35 appearances for Burnley (photo: Getty Images)

Impressive under Rowett

In a bid to rekindle his fitness and form, Jutkiewicz moved on loan to Birmingham under Gary Rowett. The striker netted five goals, helping the Blues to within touching distance of the playoff positions. Despite Rowett's controversial dismissal last week, Jutkiewicz continued to impress, adding another goal last weekend against Brighton.

The powerful and experienced campaigner will now look to feed off the knowledge of former star striker, Gianfranco Zola. The Italian will undoubtedly make a handful of new signings following the reported £1 million arrival of Jutkiewicz.

In a statement on the club website, Burnley thanked "Lukas for his contribution during his time at Turf Moor and wishes him well for the future". Birmingham will be Jutkiewicz's tenth club in England and Scotland after previous spells with Swindon Town, Everton, Plymouth Argyle, Huddersfield Town, Motherwell and Bolton Wanderers.