The pair worked together back in 2008 when Clark was assistant to Glenn Roeder at Norwich City and the young midfielder was coming up through the Carrow Road youth ranks. Adejemi retains good memories of that experience and admits that the chance to be reunited again with the St. Andrew’s chief was a big influence in his decision to move to the West Midlands.
“As soon as I heard Birmingham were interested it was an easy decision to make,” enthuses the 21-year-old, who put pen to paper on a two-year deal earlier today. “I’m really excited. This is an opportunity to come and play for a massive club with a good fan-base and also for a manager who I worked with before and got on well with. I spent quite a lot of time training with him when I was in the youth team (at Norwich) and got to enjoy working with him. The opportunity to come and play for him was a major factor.”
Adeyemi added: “The manager said that he’s looking to sign hungry young players and I think I fit into that category because at 21 years of age I’m still at the start of my career and want to progress. Ultimately my aim is to be a Premier League footballer and I think coming to Birmingham is a great opportunity to do that. We could maybe do that together - that would be ideal.”
The Norfolk-born new-boy is far from a footballing fledgling, however, having already racked up 138 first-team appearances, since making his Canaries breakthrough at the age of just 17. All of his action has come in the bottom two divisions, courtesy of loan spells at Bradford, Oldham and most recently with last season’s League One beaten play-off finalists Brentford. Having recovered from the disappointment of the Bees’ Wembley defeat, he is now eager to make his mark on the Championship with Blues.
“I know it’s going to be tough because the highest level I have played so far is League One,” said the central midfielder, who pinpoints his athleticism and his ability to get from box to box as his main playing attributes. “But I’ve done two full seasons and I felt I was ready to make the step-up and I want to prove myself over the course of the season.
“I think individually I had quite a good season (at Brentford) last year. Obviously it didn’t quite finish up in the way we were hoping for but I gained valuable experience from playing in big games. The last few games of the season, when we had to win, and the play-off final were all massive games and that will hopefully stand me in good stead for this season.”
“I’m looking to add some goals to my game this season - if I can work with the manager on things like timing my runs into the box,” continued Adeyemi, who has found the net 11 times in his career to-date. I also really relish the physical side and imposing myself on the game.”