Targets to Buy/Avoid from WBA
Author: ExWHUEmployee. Published: 9 May 2018 at 10:26pm
Written by @Bobstonian
As of Game week 37, West Brom have been mathematically relegated from the Premier League. Below is a list of players that the club, in my opinion, should sign (or not sign). I have purposely excluded Claudio Yacob and all players over 31 years old. Gareth Barry, Boaz Myhill, James Morrison, Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley & Yacob are out of contract in the summer. I would only be interested in Kieran Gibbs if Cresswell were to leave the club. He is absent from the list. Leko and Field are under 21, and I do not expect their club will allow them to leave. I am not interested in Foster or Myhill simply due to their age.
Either Rodriguez or Rondon
It appears as though the West Ham striker carousel will continue to spin this off-season, as our manager does not get along with any of our out-and-out strikers. I expect one of our highly paid strikers to depart the club over the summer. Both of the Baggies’ strikers scored 7 league goals to lead the club in scoring. Rodriguez scored 11 in all competitions to Rondon’s 10. Rondon is rumored to have an exit clause in his contract that is triggered by relegation, and as such seems to be the more coveted asset of the pair. Rodriguez is my pick as he ended the season in better form. He was accused of racially abusing Gaetan Bong of BHA, but an independent regulatory commission was unable to prove that charge. This is something the club must pay close attention to after the dismissal of Tony Henry. There are not viable striking options available from Stoke or Swansea, so the club may have to take a chance if we are desperate for goals. Both are currently earning lower wages than Andy Carrol this season.
Phillips had a solid final season at Loftus Road before moving to the Hawthorns before the 16/17 season. He maintained that good form last season, scoring four league goals and eight league assists before missing 10 of the final 13 games with a hamstring injury. He showed no signs of the injury this season, and is rumored to be on 40k/week wages. He can provide cover for Antonio, but that statement will most certainly cue the twitter comments about right wingers with hammy issues. I do believe he will be available for a cheaper price than Oliver Burke (below).
The right side of defense is an area that the team will want to improve in the summer. Nyom can play full-back and wing-back on both sides. He can provide competition for Zabaleta’s position at half the wages. Nyom is also more comfortable playing on the outside than Zabaleta is, and I could see him earning minutes in the starting 11 next year.
His wages are dirt cheap. His play this season convinced me that he is worth taking a chance on. I do not believe his club will let him leave in the summer.
Jake Livermore is a player ending the season in good form. He has a goal or an assist in his last three games. He fits a need at the club, but is not the high-profile defensive midfielder that the fans want. He has the versatility to play box-to-box, and even featured in defense when he played for Hull City. However, he has previously tested positive for illegal substances, and was harassed by a fan in an altercation at the London Stadium. Both the player and the club should look elsewhere in the summer.
Chadli, McLean & Robson-Kanu
Chadli was mildly successful in his first year at the Hawthorns, but struggled to crack the starting lineup this year. He is three years removed from his 11 goal effort for Spurs. This player prefers to play on the left side, a position where the club already has expensive players. He was one of the top earners at the Hawthorns, and will certainly carry over a €10 million price tag. McLean and Robson-Kanu are cheaper options, but lack quality.
At the age of 18, Oliver Burke impressed Gordon Strachan enough to earn a call up to the Scottish national team. However, he has not yet been called up to McLeish’s senior side. He has been used primarily as a substitute throughout his short career. He plays on the right side where he could provide cover for Antonio, but his price tag will be too off-putting.
He should be available for pennies on the dollar due to the release clause in his contract. However, he is 30 years old, and I predict he will demand a wage upwards of 70k week. The player most likely prefers to join a team that finished higher in the table, and I say let him go.
Dawson can play full-back, but not wingback. He is versatile enough to play in the center of defense, but the club has just spent the majority of the season playing a full-back out of position with little success. He does not appear to be a good fit in the current system.
Hegazi and Nyom would only marginally improve our current squad, but they would be more attractive signings if the likes of Zabaleta, Reid or Collins (L) depart the club. Zabaleta and Reid are among the top earners in the club, and Hegazi & Nyom would be cheaper alternatives. Up front: Crouch is too old, my feelings on Diouf have been published, and the Ayew brothers would never join/rejoin the club. Rodriguez and Rondon are the best striking options in the relegation zone.