Yesterday was certainly not a great start to the season for West Brom. The Baggies lost to Bolton Wanderers at home in their first Championship clash of the season.
West Brom also had bad news in the transfer market this week.
Earlier in the week, West Brom had agreed on a deal with Yeovil Town to sign Tom James. As reported by the Express and Star, the Baggies had agreed a £400,000 fee for the full-back.
It seemed as though the deal was all set to go through. However, at the last minute, it fell through. West Brom had failed to agree on personal terms with the player, who therefore rejected a move to the Midlands.
It was a shock for the Baggies, who were obviously hoping that James could have had a positive impact on their defence in 2018-19.
But, like West Brom, James did not have a game to remember on the opening day of the Football League season.
James has the unfortunate pleasure of being the first man sent off in the Football League this season.
The 22-year-old was given his marching orders in the 54th minute of the Glovers clash with Bury in League Two after picking up two yellow cards. Another red card saw Yeovil down to nine men in the 67th minute before Gold Omotayo scored the winner for Bury in the 90th minute.
Not an ideal way to show West Brom what they are missing from the Welsh talent.
One to watch: West Brom’s Harvey Barnes continues scoring form vs Norwich
The West Brom youngster has started the season in fine form.
Harvey Barnes continued his hot start to this season, scoring his second goal in three games to help West Bromwich Albion to a 4-3 win away from home against Norwich City.
Barnes’ flexibility was again on display. Starting on the left and playing most of his 65 minutes on the field there, the 20-year-old at times found himself shifted out to the right.
He then played a portion of the second half playing through the centre, where he was able to get into positions closer to goal.
He took three shots in the second half, and with the final one, he guided a first-time curling effort past Tim Krul to put West Brom 3-1 up.
Barnes was generally tidy, completing 91% of his passes. But he also did not take any great risks.
He does, however, continue to show how dangerous he is when given space to run at teams at the edge of the box.
Not only is he able to fashion chances for himself from these positions – both his goals this season have come from outside the penalty area – but he is acutely aware of where he can use one-two passes with a team-mate to create space for himself to score.
Contrastingly, Barnes still looks like a liability defensively.
He is small, slight, and does not possess elite level endurance.
Barnes likes to float when his team is out of possession, looking to take up position in areas where he can damage in transition when his team win the ball back.
This puts pressure on the experienced Kieran Gibbs at left-back.
Nonetheless, the start to the Leicester loanee’s season has been overwhelmingly positive.
One to watch: West Brom’s 20-year-old midfielder Harvey Barnes
Introducing The Boot Room’s 2018/19 One to Watch series…
There are high hopes for Harvey Barnes at Leicester City.
Earlier this summer, Barnes signed a new four-year deal before being loaned out to West Bromwich Albion for the upcoming Championship season.
He already has second-tier experience, after scoring five goals and assisting four in 1,408 league minutes on loan for the first half of last season with Barnsley.
Barnes has already smashed in an absolute pearler this season, highlighting the danger he presents from range.
The direct threat he poses from out wide – he likes to start wide and drift inside where he is capable of shooting accurately on either foot – is an increasingly desirable trait in modern football.
Conversely, he is also adept at playing the final ball in such situations.
Sometimes, he simply just likes to take up position in the channel from the start.
Darren Moore praised Barnes upon his arrival, pointing towards the Englishman’s X-factor.
“He is an exciting young player – one that I think our supporters will enjoy watching,” Moore told the club website.
“He’s got good experience of the Championship already and I am thrilled at the prospect of him adding his talents to our group. I couldn’t be happier that we have been able to bring him in.”
Those comments are promising to hear as Barnes looks to get minutes under his belt in view of returning to his parent club and being integrated there.
In the meantime, it will be fascinating to see if he can put together a consistent 42-game Championship season.
He did well for six months last season before he was recalled in January by Leicester.
West Brom will certainly be leaning on him as a key pillar in their hopes to return straight back into the Premier League.
One in, one out: The Deadline Day deals Burnley should prioritise
The Clarets could add further to their squad with Europa League football to contend.
Burnley are facing the busiest deadline day of any Premier League club, as they will face off against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League qualifying rounds later tonight.
The club pulled off the high-profile signings of Joe Hart, Ben Gibson, and Matej Vydra in the last couple days, but should not be done just yet.
Here are two potential ins and outs that Burnley should prioritise today.
Sign Jay Rodriguez from West Brom
According to Sky Sports, Burnley are interested in buying English striker Jay Rodriguez, a move that would reunite the 29-year-old with his former club.
The signing would be a savvy one, as Sean Dyche is in the market for an experienced Premier League striker, and Rodriguez is a natural finisher who can become the perfect poacher for the Clarets.
The West Bromwich Albion striker started his career at Burnley, progressing through the academy and making more than a century of appearances for the Clarets from 2007 to 2012.
Before moving to Southampton, Rodriguez scored 29 league goals in his final two campaigns at Turf Moor.
A return to Burnley would benefit both parties, granting Jay Rodriguez a Premier League reprieve and gifting Dyche a classy centre-forward for the upcoming season.
Sell Nahki Wells
It was widely thought that Nahki Wells would be heading out on loan to Derby County as part of the deal that brought Vydra to Burnley, yet nothing has been announced as of yet with regards to Wells’ future.
The Bermudan attacker should be sold today, as he endured a poor 2017/18 campaign and seemingly has no future at Turf Moor.
Wells played a dismal 45 league minutes all season for the Clarets, making nine substitute appearances– while his longest involvement was a 10-minute cameo on the final day of the season.
Instead of a loan, Burnley would do well to offload the 28-year-old on a permanent basis and clear out underperforming players from Dyche’s squad.
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