Plymouth Argyle Loanee Set For Transfer?

Plymouth Argyle loanee Sam Cosgrove is likely to leave parent club Birmingham City as the Blues have confirmed they will listen to offers for the striker, according to the Plymouth Herald.

Cosgrove joined the Pilgrims on loan for the 2022-23 season and helped them to clinch the League One title, contributing 8 goals in 33 league appearances as the Devon outfit amassed 101 points to secure their return to the Championship.

Who Is Sam Cosgrove?

Cosgrove is a 26-year-old Beverley-born striker whose career began at Everton before a move to then-Championship side Wigan Athletic. Whilst representing the Lancashire side, he spent time on loan in the National League with Barrow and North Ferriby United before a permanent switch to Carlisle United in League Two.

The striker’s stay in Cumbria would last just 12 appearances before a move north of the border for Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen. His first six months in Aberdeenshire were slow going but his first full season with the club saw a return of 20 goals in all competitions. Cosgrove followed that up by hitting 23 in the 2019-20 season, including six in six in Europa League qualifying. 

With his stock high, Championship side Birmingham City shelled out a reported £2 million and handed the Yorkshireman a three-and-a-half-year deal in January of 2021.

His time with City hasn’t gone as the player or club would have hoped with no goals in the 15 appearances he has managed so far. Time out on loan in League One with Shrewsbury Town and AFC Wimbledon were equally as unspectacular with Cosgrove netting just three times over the 32 league matches for the two clubs. 

His 2022-23 season was slightly more fruitful, scoring 12 times in 40 games across all competitions as Plymouth won League One and made the Football League Trophy final where they succumbed to Bolton Wanderers. 

Writer’s View

The striker still has a year left on his Birmingham contract and it looks as if the club are ready to cut their losses on a relatively hefty outlay that hasn’t worked out. Cosgrove will be hoping a move can help him reignite the form he showed at Pittodrie, where he managed 47 goals in just over 100 games. 

Due to the size of the fee the Blues paid and the time left on the contract, it is difficult to predict where Cosgrove could end up should he permanently leave the Midlands club. Should his club want to recoup a majority of their expenditure, a move to League One or back to Scotland is likely off the cards due to the size of the fee. On the other hand, I can’t see a Championship side wanting to pay the money for someone who hasn’t scored at that level and has been loaned out three times over 2 and a half years. 

A return to Plymouth could be on the cards as the club is not overflowing with strikers, particularly after the departure of Niall Ennis to Blackburn Rovers, but Cosgrove fell out of favour at Home Park during the second part of the season so that may be unlikely. I understand why Birmingham will want to cash in after their player has had a decent season but another loan move may be the most likely outcome should Birmingham play hardball on the transfer fee.

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