West Brom announced their first signing of the January transfer window earlier this week after clinching Sheffield United forward Callum Robinson on a short-term loan deal.
The Blades striker will be at the Hawthorns for the rest of the current campaign as Slaven Bilic aims to get the Baggies back on track in their quest for promotion.
They are without a win in seven straight matches now.
Robinson has struggled for game time in the Premier League this season, playing just 676 minutes, scoring once, per Transfermarkt.
However, his record for former club Preston North End in the Championship last term makes for exciting reading, and having delved into the deeper numbers, the 24-year-old could be the perfect fit for Bilic and his style of football…
Per WhoScored, Robinson managed to bag 12 goals in 24 starts (plus 3 substitute appearances) at Deepdale, meaning he averaged a goal every 2.25 matches. He also provided three assists, averaged a whopping three shots per game and also contributed with 1.4 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per match too.
Bilic’s system involves quick-tempo passing which starts by playing out from the back. It usually utilises a solitary striker, so that man has to be able to create space for his himself and be able to come deep to bring others into play and obviously score goals.
Those numbers above suggest that Robinson can do precisely that with his passing and dribbling numbers particularly of note as it shows he doesn’t have one style to his game – for instance, a target man presence or a classic number nine.
The Baggies have tried all three of their current strikers this season – Kenneth Zohore has only managed three league goals, two of which penalties. Hal Robson-Kanu, a winger by trade, is probably the closest fit as he always causes havoc to the opposition defence with his impressive work rate, while Charlie Austin, despite his seven goals, is far from being the right man to lead the line.
He’s averaging a goal every three games this campaign, has only provided one assist and can barely match the aforementioned attributes, averaging 0.5 key passes and 0.2 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
Therefore, it’s fair to suggest that if Robinson can rediscover his rich vein of Lilywhites form, then he’d undoubtedly be a better option than Austin – he’s practically the perfect fit to lead Bilic’s frontline.
He just needs to bring the best back out of himself after an indifferent spell at Bramall Lane.
And in other news, West Brom could live to regret this latest Luke Dowling saga…