West Brom transfer round-up: Baggies must add more to stay in promotion race
Valerien Ismael has made one addition to his side so far but Albion need more
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And whilst the 21-year-old should prove to be a fantastic bit of business, the recent struggles of the squad as a whole show that more will be needed if they are to stay in touching distance of the automatic promotion places.
After a positive start to the season which saw Albion stay relatively secure within the Championship top two, recent form has all but extinguished the early hard work.
One win in their last six games has seen Valerien Ismael’s men drop to fifth with just one point separating them from dropping out of the play-off places.
The owners have certainly been a lot smarter (or safer) with their money since Ismael took charge.
After a hefty amount was thrown at it last season in the Premier League, the new manager was given nothing to spend in the division below this Summer.
Matt Clarke, Jayson Molumby and Jordan Hugill all joined on loan whilst Alex Mowatt and Adam Reach both signed on a free.
It’s fair to say that the summer business didn’t reflect a team that were serious about promotion, especially when you consider rivals Fulham spent near £20million.
However, the addition of Dike in this window may be a sign of the owners having a re-think. To sign someone for a significant fee in January is rare unless there is a clear end goal.
There is a real opportunity to turn the fortunes round this month if things are done correctly.
Out of the current loanee’s, it is widely speculated that Hugill’s time in the Black Country is done so if his loan is mutually cancelled, that should free up the opportunity to bring in another face.
You’d like to think that face would be another forward player. The lack of goals has been a struggle as it is, let alone letting one forward go out without bringing in another.
Centre-back Dara O’Shea is finally back in training and will likely return to the matchday squad in February, so he in himself will feel like the equivalent of a new top signing.
And then there’s the rumours circulating over the last 24 hours or so linking Albion to Barnsley centre-back Liam Kitching.
Kitching unsurprisingly played under Ismael last season so the Baggies boss knows him well.
The 22-year-old is also on the radar of Birmingham City but due to the relationship with the manager, the ball looks to be in West Brom’s court with this one.
Where do you think Albion need to strengthen before the end of the window? Let us know in the comment section below.
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