Birmingham land former Arsenal star Hleb on loan from Barcelona

Former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb is returning to the Premier League, as he is signing for Birmingham City on a season-long loan deal.

The Belarus playmaker left London for Barcelona in the summer of 2008, but he fell out of favor quickly, and after a loan spell at former VfB Stuttgart last season, he is now joining the ambitious Blues.

Hleb’s spent three seasons at Arsenal, arriving from Stuttgart in the summer of 2005, and he made 130 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 12 goals. His signing represents another sign of Birmingham’s ambition, as the club signed Manchester United keeper Ben Foster and Valencia striker Nikola Zigic this summer, along with unsuccessfully pursuing a number of well-known targets.

Along with signing Hleb, Alex McLeish is set to further bolster his attack by signing Chile international attacker Jean Beausejour from Mexican side Club America. The Blues have also moved to strengthen their defense with the capture of Spartak Moscow captain Martin Jiranek, who is arriving at St. Andrew’s for an undisclosed fee after falling out of favor at the Russian club.

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