Krovinovic’s versatility could prove key for West Brom if he signs

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

A report earlier this week from Express & Star suggested that Filip Krovinovic could be on the verge of joining West Brom after the club agreed a loan deal with Benfica for the 23-year-old.

The Croatian picked up a cruciate ligament rupture towards the back end of the 2017/18 campaign which then kept him out for the beginning of the following term.

Since then he’s struggled to find form and game time, featuring just 12 times last season without finding the net or assisting a single goal.

However, that shouldn’t concern Baggies fans, because he could help solve some problems in key areas of the pitch for Slaven Bilic if he signs.

On the chalkboard

Problem number one for West Brom is simply finding someone who can provide creativity from central areas.

After Harvey Barnes was recalled from his loan spell with the club midway through 2018/19, Albion lacked any players that could really play in a number ten role.

Yet, that is one of the main areas where Krovinovic is best. Although he hasn’t produced the numbers, merely finding an individual who can play in that area of the pitch will be important.

Before his injury two seasons ago, he featured nine times behind the striker whilst going onto play in that role a further six times last term.

Considering their lack of options in that position, Bilic could choose to utilise him in an attacking midfield role.

Problem number two is on the flanks. Yet again, once Barnes left, they were left without genuine quality in that area of the pitch as he left behind nine goals and six assists.

The loan additions of Jacob Murphy and Jefferson Montero failed to provide much, scoring just three times and it’s out wide where Krovinovic could also play a part. He’s by no means a wide man by trade, but has featured as a winger for Rio Ave, Benfica and Zagreb in the past.

Having already played in continental competitions throughout his spell with Benfica, you sense as though taking the step down to the Championship could be just what he needs to kick start his career.

The fans in the video below had some very strong words for Michel Platini who was detained over alleged corruption this week…

A final area Bilic may play him in is further back. Also possessing the qualities to play in central or deep midfield, completing 94.7% of his passes last term, he has the potential to be just as effective there too.

Rekeem Harper is now a free agent after his contract expired, which means their only options are Sam Field, Jake Livermore and Chris Brunt in the middle of the park.

The Croatian, therefore, could fill a large hole.

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