West Brom fans were rightly excited by the acquisition of Grzegorz Krychowiak last summer. Tony Pulis managed to bring in the Polish midfielder on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, just one year after Europe’s best had scrambled to sign him from Sevilla.
The deal had no buy-out clause but West Brom fans were hopeful he could help the Baggies push on into the elite and then join them permanently a year down the line.
That is not how the story panned out. Instead, West Brom were relegated to the Championship after a horrible season both on and off the pitch. Krychowiak certainly played his part.
Krychowiak’s season at West Brom could easily have been summed up in his display against Senegal in the World cup yesterday.
The midfielder showed his undoubted ability and class when he powered home a header to give his nation a fighting chance. However, in the 80-odd minutes beforehand, he was poor.
Languid and sluggish he was off the pace with Senegal’s energetic midfield running him ragged. He then played a dreadful half-volley back-pass to no-mans land which Mbaye Niang ran on to and slotted home into an empty net.
It was indicative of his West Brom spell. Occasional flashes of the man who cost PSG around £28 million just two years ago.
This summer, he will be on the move again but West Brom will not be calling. Whoever does get Krychowiak will hope they get to see his qualities on a more consistent basis than was visible at the Hawthorns.