Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce has admitted that the season-ending injury to loan midfielder Borja Oubina has placed a cloud over the Blues' solid start to the campaign.
The 25-year-old made just two appearances following his arrival from Celta Vigo, before sustaining devastating ligament damage against Liverpool at Anfield.
Bruce told the Birmingham Mail: "We've had a decent start to the season apart from the game at Middlesbrough, but the one really big disappointment so far has been the knee injury to Oubina.
"He has severed virtually every ligament in his knee. That is going to be a blow because he was looking a bit different to what we've got in midfield.
"He would have done a very good job for us. He's a bit of a Michael Carrick type.
"Whereas we've got Mehdi Nafti and Fabrice Muamba who are fiercely competitive, he was a bit different and had a touch of class about him."
Of the possibilities of going through with a permanent deal for the Spain international, Bruce added: "There was a 10million euro price tag on him, so that might be just above our budget."