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McLeish lauds Birmingham signing Hleb

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is banking on loan signing Alexander Hleb bolstering his teams attacking options. McLeish swooped to recruit the 29 year old Barcelona midfielder on transfer deadline day in a season-long switch to St Andrews.

McLeish told Sky Sports News: "He's a terrific player and we've got to get the best out of him.

"In the middle to forward areas he'll bring that creativity that we've been craving.

"We have a talent in James McFadden but other than James we have different aspects to other players.

"Hleb can make that difference that we've been seeking for a year or two."

Hleb left the Gunners in 2008 to pursue a new challenge at Barca, but he failed to have the desired impact and spent last season on loan at German side Stuttgart.

"There's no doubt he can play in England," added McLeish. "He's shown before with the quality he can overcome the other factors in evidence in the Premier League.

"He's a bit of a maverick with the ball at his feet and I know the Birmingham fans love him. But we've got to make sure the team get the best out of him."

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