Bruce hails Muamba impact

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Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has revealed he would love to sign Fabrice Muamba on a permanent basis, but admits there is precious little chance Arsenal will sell the England Under-19 captain.

The 18-year-old midfielder has joined Blues on a season-long loan and is making quite an impression at St Andrews.

He has been a driving force in the team's recent revival, starring in the 4-2 Carling Cup win at Sheffield United and providing the Midlanders with real midfield steel.

Bruce is certain that Muamba has a huge future in the game, but realises he would almost certainly be wasting his time with a bid for a player who is highly rated within the corridors of the Emirates Stadium.

"I'm sure he's going to be a big player in the future and I just wish he was ours," Bruce told the Birmingham Mail. "I know they (Arsenal) think really highly of him, and I haven't really broached the question about his future with them.

"They wanted him to come here to get some experience. I would love to take him, whether there's a chance, I doubt it.

"I'm not trying to be clever, but I think I said at the time when we got him that the supporters would love him.

"He tackles opponents for sure, but for me it's his overall drive. It's alright just tackling people, but he breaks play up and drives forward, he tries to make things happen.

"He's as strong as a bull. He's huge, six foot one and a half, and he's ripped physically. What's he going to be like in three, four years when he grows up and becomes a man? He's also very popular here, he's such an unassuming lad."