Greg Stewart is a top talent. Starting out his career at Syngenta Amateurs before a move to Cowdenbeath in 2014, his ability was there for all to see in the lower reaches of Scottish football.
Such form earned him a move to Dundee, where his stock grew even higher, before a big money move down south to join Birmingham City. Since then Stewart’s career has been full of ups and downs, having struggled to break into City’s first team.
After a poor first season at St Andrews he moved back up north to join Aberdeen on loan, which proved to be another disappointing spell for the forward. This season, however, there was a change in fortunes, joining Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock on a six month loan deal in the summer.
Stewart would score eight goals in 16 games for Killie before being recalled by the Championship side. His relationship with his second loan club would quickly turn sour, opting to join Derek McInnes at Pittodrie for another spell in red.
Lightning doesn’t always strike twice but it certainly has for Stewart in the Granite City. He’s back to being on the bench and the 29-year old should never have chosen to rejoin the Dons.
The move itself didn’t make much sense. Killie and Aberdeen are quite close in the league so it wasn’t like Stewart was moving up a level. Rugby Park just suited the Birmingham loanee better.
He was played in his natural central position. Playing as a number 10 is what Stewart thrives on and it showed during his brief stint in Ayrshire. Eight goals and six assists before January was an excellent return, becoming one of Clarke’s main men in the process.
An uncertain future
When he was recalled by his parent club it was a devastating blow for Killie but they have soldiered on without him, not being affected too much by his departure. Stewart on the other hand has struggled without Kilmarnock, with McInnes opting to play him out of position.
He plays on the right whenever he is in red and it just doesn’t work. He works best behind the striker. Stewart isn’t able to express his attacking ability on the right, with more of an emphasis on getting crosses in the box for Sam Cosgrove and the Aberdeen forward line.
This is the second time this has happened at Pittodrie and the forward really should have known better. Aberdeen play a different system to Kilmarnock and the latter works in Stewart’s favour. His current club don’t play to his strengths, hence why he is on the bench on a regular basis.
As for his Birmingham City career, he has done himself no favours of earning a contract extension. Sure his chances were slim to begin with after a shocking first season. Those hopes have all but diminished after another Pittodrie loan spell.
The former Dundee man has ability but he just hasn’t been able to showcase that at either Birmingham or Aberdeen. The only time he has done so since leaving Dens Park is with Killie, and he only had six months to prove it.
Stewart’s contract in Birmingham is up in the summer. It’ll be intriguing to see who wants to snap up the talented forward.