Pep: Kieftenbeld is ready to play

Maikel Kieftenbeld.
Maikel Kieftenbeld.

Having Kieftenbeld back is massive for us at the minute.

Pep Clotet.

Maikel Kieftenbeld has reached the stage where he is now ready for First Team selection, according to Pep Clotet.

The Dutch midfielder, who last featured in April 2019 when he damaged his knee ligaments, has now taken part in two Under-23s games in addition to his full training regime.

"We have Kieftenbeld back from injury. He's been training for a week and he's ready for selection if we think it's necessary," said Blues' Head Coach.

"I don't want to put pressure on him, but he looks very good in training.

"I expect to him to play a few minutes (at a time) to increase his fitness during competitive games, so he gets sharper. Possibly it will take a few games."

With likes of Josh McEachran, Jacques Maghoma and Kerim Mrabti currently sidelined, Blues have limited options in the middle of the park, so Kieftenbeld's availability comes at an opportune time.

"Maikel is always very good to have because first of all he is a winner," continued Clotet.

"He's a tough player to play against and he is someone who is very good tactically as well, and we hope can help us.

"I think it suits us because we only have the two midfielders.

"We are relying a lot on the help of Muncie (Caolan Boyd-Munce) from the Under-23s, although he's done fantastically when he's come on.

"Having Kieftenbeld back is massive for us at the minute."