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West Bromwich Albion

Three signings West Brom should make on Deadline Day

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The news that your football club were being bought by a foreign consortium was once the source of much trepidation among fans, but nowadays supporters tend to think they’ve been handed a golden ticket. Under new owner Guochaun Lai however, West Brom’s transfer activity has been relatively circumspect. This is the source of a great deal of anguish among modern day fans, who feel there is a festival of big spending going on to which they are not invited.

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West Brom have established themselves as a stable Premier League club in recent years; the Baggies no longer boing-boing between England’s top two divisions. However, a sense of stasis has settled around the Hawthorns. With Tony Pulis as manager, you have a virtual assurance that you will not be relegated but not much of a chance to dream of anything else. Some will say Baggies are deluded for wanting any more than a safe Premier League finish, but fans want some excitement as well as security. Sunday’s 0-0 draw at home to Middlesbrough was absolutely dire and the team are crying out for flair, pace and goals. Saido Berahino will finally be put out of his misery (surely?) and granted a move away, so he will have to be replaced. We suggested three players West Brom should target on Deadline Day.

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University of Nottingham History graduate. Freelance sportswriter specialising in Football, Cricket and Golf. Interested in the politics of sport.

Tottenham Hotspur

Salomon Rondon would be ideal back-up for Harry Kane and Tottenham

Josh Kerr

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Salomon Rondon
Photo: Getty Images

According to reports from the Daily Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur are interested in adding West Bromwich Albion‘s Salomon Rondon to their attacking ranks.

The recently relegated striker will be hoping to stay in the Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino can ensure that happens for the Venezuela international.

Harry Kane has been a revelation once again for the Lilywhites firing 30 league goals this season and was also nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award.

However, Pochettino has still not found a suitable back-up for the Englishman and is already looking for another replacement.

Fernando Llorente was signed from Swansea last season after Vincent Janssen failed to make an impact in north London.

However, the 33-year-old striker could not improve on his 15 goal tally for the Swans that kept them in the top flight a year ago.

The Spanish forward has one goal in 16 Premier League appearances for Spurs and it’s understandable that Pochettino already wants a replacement.

Rondon would not be a signing that should get fans excited by any means.

After all, he does not represent a world-class striker in the slightest and, similarly to Llorente, he has spent the majority of his Premier League career scrapping at the bottom end of the table.

Despite finishing rock bottom in the league this campaign, Rondon was one of those who emerged from the season with some credibility, scoring 10 goals in all competitions for the Baggies.

The Baggies forward is a striker who has often looked isolated and lacking options in a West Brom side that has struggled to get the best out of him.

In a flourishing Spurs team, his Premier League goal tally, of 24, could steadily improve.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Rondon has a relegation release clause in his contract that can see him leave the Midlands side for a reported fee of £16.5 million.

This may be off-putting for Spurs fans as the fee is not cheap considering the Venezuelan’s lack of firepower.

However, at 28, he is five years younger than Llorente and would only cost £2 million more than the fee they paid for the Spaniard, so it’s not the worst transfer when wanting more attacking options.

There’s no doubt that Llorente has struggled at Wembley this season and at 33, Levy may be tempted to move the former Juventus striker on and refresh his forward line.

A club of Spurs’ stature will always be linked with bigger names, but Rondon could still be a smart appointment for the Londoners.

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West Bromwich Albion

West Brom’s Nacer Chadli very fortunate to make Belgium World Cup squad

The Belgian’s inclusion in Roberto Martinez’s World Cup side came as a surprise to many.

Josh Kerr

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Nacer Chadli
Photo: Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion attacking midfielder Nacer Chadli has been named in Roberto Martinez’s preliminary World Cup squad, much to the amazement of all Baggies fans.

The 28-year-old has rarely featured for Albion during their disastrous relegation season, with injury limiting him to just six appearances in all competitions for the club.

The Belgium international has even been included over Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, who today also his international retirement after receiving the disappointing news.

Chadli is arguably the most fortunate player to be in Martinez’s World Cup squad, considering he only featured four times in the league for a team that was relegated in the most disastrous fashion.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The former Tottenham player has a relegation release clause of £17 million, so there’s a chance for him to sign for another club if he is able to show the quality that former Premier League manager Martinez has evidently seen in him.

Other notable names also in the Red Devils’ squad to take to Russia include Manchester City‘s Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, Chelsea‘s Eden Hazrd and Thibaut Courtois, and Liverpool‘s Simon Mignolet.

Many football supporters have taken to Twitter to highlight their disbelief to Chadli representing the Midlands side for Belgium in this summer’s World Cup in Russia. His inclusion sees him as one of just two current Baggies to represent the side in the summer tournament, along with Egyptian centre-back Ahmed Hegazi.

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Championship

Oliver Burke set to face Nottingham Forest next season, two years after big-money exit

The Scottish youngster has struggled since leaving Nottingham Forest for Germany in 2016.

Mathew Coull

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At the start of the 2016-17 season, hope was high at the City Ground that Nottingham Forest could string together an impressive campaign. But once again it was a struggle for the side, who ended up changing managers halfway through the season and surviving relegation to League One on the final day of the season. For many, one of the key reasons for their demise was the sale of Scottish attacker Oliver Burke.

He had started the season with a bang, scoring four goals in the opening seven games of the season. Unfortunately for Forest, that gained the attention of foreign threats. German big spenders RB Leipzig decided they wanted to bring Burke to the Bundesliga. According to the Daily Mail, the Scottish talent set Leipzig back £13 million that August, leaving the club just one day after netting a brace in a 4-3 win over Burton Albion.

It was clearly a move Burke had to make. Forest were lacking direction under Fawaz Al Hasawi and the chance to play in the Bundesliga was too good to turn down.

(Photo credit should read GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

But the move now looks to have been a bad one as next season Burke will be playing against his former club in the Championship.

After one season and just five starts in the German top-flight, he and Leipzig decided a move away was for the best. West Brom decided to take a chance on the player, spending a fee reported by the Mirror to be £15 million for the pleasure.

It has not been a glorious return to English football for the Scotland international. Burke has managed to start just two Premier League games for the Baggies this season. He has spent most of his time on the bench and has yet to find the net for his new team. In fact, his only goal for the club came playing for their under-21s in the EFL Trophy in November.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

To compound a difficult two years since leaving Forest this season also saw Burke relegated. West Brom’s difficult campaign ended up with the Baggies dropping to the Championship for next season. Burke will now have to face off against the team he left two years ago with dreams of better things.  

But the upside is also clear. Hopefully, a drop back to the Championship can offer Burke the chance to rediscover his best form on a regular basis. A player once dubbed ‘Scotland’s Gareth Bale’ must ensure he does not waste his obvious talents in the years to come. Whilst Forest fans will hope he does not punish them at all in 2018-19, not many would begrudge him some future success in the game.

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