Premier League Career: Birmingham City (2010-2011), Cardiff City (2013-2014), Queens Park Rangers (2014), Crystal Palace (2014-PRESENT)
Jordon Mutch’s career has stalled in recent times. Still on the books at Crystal Palace, Mutch will be hoping that his persistence will pay off, having turned down the chance to move on-loan to Championship clubs this summer. His best spell in the Premier League was during Cardiff City’s single season dalliance at this level in 2013-2014.
From Derby, Mutch began his football career in the youth system at his local club and built a close working relationship with the Rams’ Academy director Terry Westley. They would link up again in the summer of 2007 when Mutch decided to ditch Derby for Birmingham, where Westley had gone as Academy director earlier in the calendar year. There was interest from Aston Villa and Liverpool FC but Mutch wasn’t going to turn his back on taking his development to a club that might not give him the opportunities to progress.
A year later, he made his first-team debut as a substitute in a League Cup tie at Southampton. He became Birmingham’s second-youngest debutant of all-time, aged 16 years and 268 days. The only Birmingham player to have featured at a younger age was the first £1 million footballer, Trevor Francis. Loan spells would follow at Hereford United, Doncaster Rovers and Watford.
2011 was Mutch’s big breakthrough at Birmingham. He made his debut in the Premier League in January, playing all 90 minutes at Old Trafford against Manchester United. The Red Devils’ won 5-0 but it was an afternoon that Mutch will look back on with pride. Days later, he signed a three-year extension to his contract which had been due to run out that summer.
He stuck with the Blues’ despite their relegation to the Championship but with the club experiencing a transfer embargo and having just lost manager Chris Hughton to Norwich City; Mutch was sold to ease financial worries. He joined Cardiff City for an undisclosed fee. This meant he would work under Malky Mackay again. Mackay had been manager at Watford when Mutch had a loan spell at Vicarage Road. A persistent foot injury would keep him out of action for five months. However, Mutch did get himself fit to play the final eight games of the season as Cardiff gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history.
Cardiff’s first Premier League away victory was one of Mutch’s finest Premier League moments. In the 92nd minute, he struck a spectacular winner away to Fulham in September 2013. His 25-yard strike ensured the Bluebirds’ achieved their first win away from home since November 1961. His individual performances were brilliant. He scored seven times, including two goals in a home defeat to Liverpool FC. He hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since Cardiff’s relegation.
Cardiff went down but Mutch’s performances were enough for Queens Park Rangers to pay the Welsh club £6 million on the eve of the 2014-2015 season. He started the opening day defeat to Hull City but failed to settle in west London and would eventually move to Crystal Palace towards the end of the January 2015 transfer window. QPR were able to recoup £4.75 million of the transfer fee they’d paid Cardiff from Palace.
He has featured 40 times for Palace in all competitions but has struggled to breakthrough regularly into the first-team at Selhurst Park. He joined Reading on-loan in the second part of the 2016-2017 campaign but didn’t do enough for the Royals’ to be tempted to fork out a permanent deal for the midfielder. In August 2017, he turned down loan moves to Bristol City and Burton Albion in an effort to establish himself in the capital.
Current evidence would suggest he might need to reconsider his thoughts on moving for the good of his career. All he can do is work hard in training and hope former England manager Roy Hodgson takes a chance on him.