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West Bromwich Albion

West Brom were wrong to not cash-in for Jonny Evans in January

Josh Kerr



Photo: Getty Images

West Brom may be ruing their decision to not cash in for Baggies captain Jonny Evans as the player looks destined to leave for a substantial loss following the Midland’s clubs relegation to the Championship.

The Baggies’ worst fears were confirmed on Tuesday night, after Southampton‘s 1-0 victory over Swansea made it impossible for Darren Moore’s side to avoid the drop.

Demotion means that players will leave in the summer window, in an attempt to secure a Premier League return, with some even having relegation clauses in their contracts.

The Baggies received interest in 30-year-old defender Jonny Evans in previous windows and the club’s recent drop to the Championship may leave them wishing they had cashed in when they had the chance.

Premier League champions Manchester City were known to be interested in the Northern Irishman and, according to Sky Sports, the Citizens had a bid in the region of £18 million rejected.

West Brom’s stance on the defender being unavailable was seen as admirable.

However, the fact that Evans has a £3 million relegation clause in his contract means the former Manchester United defender is likely to leave Moore’s side for next to nothing in the summer.

Adding further fuel to the fire, Evans was one of the players involved in an off-field incident that sparked controversy mid-season.

Evans was labelled as being among four of the West Brom players involved in the ‘taxi stealing’ incident during the Baggies’ training trip to Barcelona.

It reflects one of the many problems that have been experienced at the Midlands club this season.

With Evans being the captain of the club, it didn’t reflect the behaviour and maturity required during one of the most critical periods of the campaign.

With Evans entering the latter stages of his career, it seems he will still feel his talents are best suited to the Premier League.

With the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and several others, interested in the Northern Ireland international, a departure seems the logical outcome.

It has been a disastrous season for the Baggies. Off-field incidents have been met with poor performances on the pitch.

A clear-out will definitely be in order at the Hawthorns and the club would’ve been hoping to cash-in big for established players such as Evans.

However, with the luck the club has had this season, they will have to accept another likely loss and move on.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

West Bromwich Albion

Grzegorz Krychowiak’s World Cup display all too familiar for West Brom fans

The Polish midfielder had an indifferent spell at West Brom.

Mathew Nash



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.

(Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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West Bromwich Albion

West Brom will hope Nacer Chadli continues to play World Cup role

The Belgian winger has a £17m release clause in his contract at West Brom.

Mathew Nash



Belgium got off to winning ways in the World Cup yesterday, comfortably beating Panama 3-0 without ever truly getting out of first gear.

The Red Devils dominated for much of the game, with star players Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku doing the damage.

With the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel and Thibaut Courtois defending their interests at the other end a win never looked in doubt for Robert Martinez’s men.

But amid all the undoubted stars on show for Belgium, one man who came on in the game did cause something of a stir on social media.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

In the 90th minute West Brom attacker Nacer Chadli made it onto the field, replacing Witsel.

His appearance certainly caused a reaction from West Brom fans, who had forgotten he existed. The £13 million Baggies winger has failed to have a lasting impact at the Hawthorns since joining from Tottenham in 2016.

After an average first season at the club he barely featured last term. Chadli, suffering with a serious hip injury, played just five times for West Brom last term as the club were relegated from the Premier League.

West Brom will however be very happy to see he is back in action. The 28-year-old will not want to play in the Championship next season but finding a buyer was looking difficult. Chadli has a release clause of £17 million, so any interested party will want to believe they are getting value for money.

If Chadli can continue to play a role for Belgium in what should be a long World Cup campaign, West Brom’s chances of finding a buyer for the player will undoubtedly increase.

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West Bromwich Albion

Should West Brom have given Ali Gabr a chance at £1.1 million?

West Brom did not hand the 29-year-old a chance during his recent loan spell.

Mathew Nash



When Egypt took on Uruguay in the World Cup recently it was a game West Brom fans watched with interest.

The player they were keeping eyes on was Egypt centre-back Ahmed Hegazi. He is of course still a Baggies player, although has been linked with an exit after the club’s relegation.

However, alongside him in the heart of the Egypt defence was another player who should interest the club, Ali Gabr.

The 29-year-old was signed on loan in January to add strength to the West Brom defence. However, with the Baggies struggling to survive he was not given a chance in the first-team.

Gabr instead played just two games for the club’s under-23s. His first appearance was in a 2-0 defeat against Norwich City before he was given the runaround by Swedish striker Viktor Gyorkes in a 5-1 loss against Brighton.

West Brom will not be keeping him, based on his performances at the club.

The Express and Star reported this month that a £1.1 million option to sign him permanently had passed and he would be returning to Egypt.

But his performance against Uruguay suggested he deserved better. Gabr looked strong and solid defensively and was also impressive with the ball at his feet.

It certainly looked like the form of a player who could be effective in the Championship, especially with Jonny Evans leaving and Craig Dawson and Hegazi wanted.

West Brom cannot be blamed for deciding not to throw Gabr in last season and, it is hard to suggest he might have helped them stay in the Premier League. But based on his performance against Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez last week he might have been able to help them return.

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