Between The Lines: West Brom continue to play safe after Gayle decision

West Bromwich Albion Technical Director Luke Dowling has claimed in quotes per The Express & Star, that the club won’t try and sign Dwight Gayle again due to financial reasons.

What’s the word?

Gayle was absolutely sensational for West Brom this season and alongside Jay Rodriguez built a partnership that nearly took them to the Premier League.

Albion were within five penalty kicks of sealing a place at Wembley but without Gayle, who was suspended, they crashed out of the play-offs in the semi-finals.

However, despite the striker scoring 24 crucial goals for the Baggies in 2018/19, he won’t return to the club. This is according to the words of Dowling who issued the following statement which was quoted by The Express & Star.

“Financially, we were prepared to pay the money for Dwight’s contract for this season. It hasn’t worked out. Dwight’s contract is a Premier League contract and we will pay Premier League contracts, but we’ll only do that once we’re back in the Premier League.

“I know it won’t be the news Albion fans want to hear, but they need to trust us and know we’re doing everything right for this club.”

Playing safe yet again

The news that Gayle wouldn’t sign next term was bad enough for the supporters but the lack of ambition Dowling and the club are showing has once again put a cloud of negativity over the Hawthorns.

This isn’t the first time things have been dealt with in this manner, though.

The managerial appointment of Jimmy Shan until the end of the season was safe, choosing to go with the cheap option rather than finding a coach who could have got them promoted. Therefore, the decision not to bring Gayle back because of finances is another dagger to the heart.

Until West Brom learn from this then they will continue to fall into mediocrity. More risks need to be taken and that doesn’t just count for the playing staff, but also for whoever walks through the door as their next manager.

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If the Baggies needed to keep just one player at the club then it would be Gayle. He is the epitome of a good Championship striker and they could well struggle to replicate their play-off bid without him next term.

In short, Dowling and Mark Jenkins can no longer afford to play things safe. Trying to secure Gayle again would have been a statement. Instead, everything feels as though it’ll be far too similar to previous years.