West Bromwich Albion haven’t done much transfer business this summer, but that looks like it is going to change in the final weeks of the window. Sky Sports report that they are closing in on Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester City and a deal is expected to be completed on Monday. The Baggies submitted a third bid for the winger, which is believed to stand at £12 million and it looks like it is going to be accepted.
Schlupp played a large role for Leicester last season as part of their title-winning side and featured in the Community Shield as a substitute. Although he is rated by the Leicester City coaching staff, there is a lot of competition in the squad and he has been told that he may need to leave for first-team football. On the left wing, they have Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton and Bartosz Kapustka, all of whom are currently ahead of Schlupp in the pecking order.
This makes the £12 million bid a very good one for Leicester and it is too good to turn down for a player who is unlikely to play a prominent role this season. Leicester recognised that Schlupp was surplus to requirements, but they have negotiated well with West Brom and are getting a great fee for him. They must be applauded for that.
As for West Brom, Schlupp will fit in very well at the club. Tony Pulis has a certain way of setting up, which requires wingers and Schlupp will offer something different to the left side. James McClean is a decent option on the left wing and did well after coming on at the weekend, but Schlupp would be an improvement in that role.
If the deal goes through as expected, Schlupp will be a good squad option at left back. The Baggies had to play Jonny Evans there on Saturday. Although he is a solid defender, he isn’t a full back and West Brom need to strengthen in that area. They are hoping to sign up to five players before the window closes and a left back will be on the agenda, but if they don’t sign one, Schlupp could feature there.
West Brom are a robust side, who know how to get results in the Premier League. Schlupp isn’t an established player, but he will be an exciting signing when he completes his move to the Midlands. He has pace and looks to be direct when he is on the ball. Although he needs to be more consistent, he can be devastating on his day, with the ability to beat players and provide good service into the box. West Brom lack dynamism on the left hand side and Schlupp will provide that in abundance.
There are issues that need to be worked on, such as his decision making and positioning. He has been played in several positions and has yet to settle on one. Tony Pulis needs to give him a specific role to carry out and allow him to thrive without constantly being moved around the pitch. Schlupp has the ability to be a Premier League standard left back or left winger, but needs to be given a permanent position now in order to reach that level.
Jeffrey Schlupp is an exciting talent, who has a lot of potential, but a move is required to fulfil it. West Brom looks to be a good fit, as regular first-team football is on offer and he will be playing under an experienced coach in Tony Pulis.
The Welshman is excellent at getting the best out of a limited squad and coaching players to carry out a specific role. Schlupp needs to be given a permanent position and he will get that at West Brom. He is better suited to playing on the left wing, as he can be shackled by his defensive responsibilities at left back. That said, his experience at left back has provided him with the work rate and defensive ability to track back when playing on the wing. It is a sizeable investment if the deal goes through as expected, but it could be a shrewd one if Pulis can get Schlupp to perform on a weekly basis.
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