Geraldo Bajrami

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Geraldo Bajrami
Geraldo Bajrami EFL debut.png
Bajrami making his EFL debut for Birmingham City, December 2019
Personal information
Full name Geraldo Bajrami[1]
Date of birth (1999-09-24) 24 September 1999 (age 20)[2]
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Birmingham City
Number 43
Youth career
200?–2018 Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2018– Birmingham City 2 (0)
National team
2019– Albania U21 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:08, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:08, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

Geraldo Bajrami (born 24 September 1999) is a professional footballer who plays as a defender for Championship club Birmingham City. He made his senior debut in the EFL Cup in August 2019. Bajrami was born in England to Albanian parents, and has represented Albania at under-21 level.

Club career[edit]

Bajrami was born in Birmingham in 1999, just two weeks after his Albanian parents left Kosovo because of the war.[3][4] He was raised in the Quinton district[3] and attended Priory School in Edgbaston.[5] He had two unsuccessful trials with Birmingham City's Academy before he was accepted at under-14 level,[4] and took up a two-year scholarship in July 2016.[6] Academy coach Steve Spooner described him as "quite an unassuming young man but is very much a leader and is very popular with the rest of the players."[6]

He captained the club's under-18 team that reached the semifinal of the 2017–18 FA Youth Cup, performing well in a defensive partnership with Ryan Stirk against a very strong Chelsea side,[7][8] and signed his first professional contract, of one year, at the end of the season.[5] He went on to captain Birmingham's under-23 team in 2018–19,[3] making 36 appearances over the season,[9] as they finished as runners-up in the Professional Development League northern section and lost out to Leeds United on penalties for the overall title.[10] He was offered a two-year deal in March 2019,[11] and signed it in late June.[9]

A hernia operation at the end of the season meant that Bajrami missed out on the first-team's pre-season fixtures,[9][12] He was fit to make his competitive debut in the EFL Cup first round on 6 August 2019. Manager Pep Clotet fielded an inexperienced team for the visit to Portsmouth, and Bajrami played the whole of the 3–0 defeat.[13] With Marc Roberts and Jake Clarke-Salter injured, he made his Football League debut on 14 December 2019, partnering Harlee Dean in central defence in a 3–2 defeat at home to Championship leaders West Bromwich Albion.[14][15]

International career[edit]

In January 2019, Bajrami attended a training camp for Albanian youth players, and applied for an Albanian passport in the hope of being selected for their under-21 team ahead of the upcoming 2021 European Championship qualifiers.[3] He made his debut in the starting eleven for a 2–1 defeat at home to Turkey U21 on 23 March; he played the whole match, and was booked in the second half.[16]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 21 December 2019
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup EFL Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Birmingham City 2019–20[16] Championship 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
Career total 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Notification of shirt numbers: Birmingham City" (PDF). English Football League. p. 4. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Geraldo Bajrami". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Under-23s captain set for Albania honour". Birmingham City F.C. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b Dick, Brian (21 June 2018). "This is the remarkable journey made by Birmingham City's newest professional". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Geraldo Bajrami pens professional deal". Birmingham City F.C. 21 June 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b "An introduction to the Academy new boys". Birmingham City F.C. 9 July 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  7. ^ Wollaston, Steve (1 March 2018). "Birmingham City news and transfers: Steve Cotterill's future; Fears over finances; Fans want answers". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  8. ^ Dick, Brian (31 March 2018). "Imperious Chelsea, luckless Bailey, Stirk promise – what we learned from Birmingham City's FA Youth Cup defeat". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Under-23s captain Bajrami extends contract". Birmingham City F.C. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Report: Leeds United Under-23s 0 Blues Under-23s 0 – Leeds win 4–2 on penalties". Birmingham City F.C. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  11. ^ Dick, Brian (21 March 2019). "The Under 23s Birmingham City have decided to release and retain". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Blues preparing for next step". Birmingham City F.C. 19 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  13. ^ Chapman, Joseph (6 August 2019). "Birmingham City player ratings: Jude Bellingham shines bright despite defeat". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  14. ^ Scott, Ged (14 December 2019). "Birmingham City 2–3 West Browmich Albion". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  15. ^ Dick, Brian (14 December 2019). "'Heavy metal' – Every word from Pep Clotet as Birmingham City lose to West Brom". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  16. ^ a b "G. Bajrami". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 21 December 2019.