West Brom’s pursuit of clinching a return to the promised land of the Premier League is right on track, even despite a couple of blips over Christmas.
The Baggies currently hold a four-point cushion over season-long title rivals Leeds United, and are sitting pretty knowing the stress of the playoffs is even further away – seven points, to be precise.
And Albion continue to be one foot in front of their Yorkshire nemesis, even more so after the January transfer window where technical and sporting director Luke Dowling played a blinder to strengthen this very ambition.
Slaven Bilic’s squad was bolstered with the additions of Callum Robinson, on loan from Sheffield United, Kamil Grosicki, in an £800k steal from Hull City, and Lee Peltier, who brings experience on a free transfer.
They have all played their part already – on and off the pitch.
Meanwhile, Leeds continue to suffer having won just two of their last eight league outings whilst their new additions haven’t set the ground running in the same way West Brom’s have.
Jean Kevin-Augustin has come in on loan from RB Leipzig in what would usually be hyped up as a major coup but the lad hasn’t found the net in a year and is costing them £1.7m in fees on top of paying his full wages.
So far he’s only given them three shots at goal in as many games – in comparison, Robinson has notched a goal for the Baggies, as well as improving their presence in the attack by averaging 4.8 shots and 2.5 key passes per game.
Heck, even Grosicki, who has been restricted to three substitute appearances just like Marcelo Bielsa’s new frontman, has done more. The veteran winger has got an assist to his name as well as two key passes.
Meanwhile, fellow arrival Ian Poveda is yet to even feature. Some move from Manchester City that has been, especially as Leeds could fork out up to £1m for him.
The west Midlanders still hold the advantage in the title race and Dowling’s decision to back his manager with ready-made talent is already proving to be a masterstroke.
Just think how scary Bilic’s line up will be when the likes of Grady Diangana and Kieran Gibbs return from their respective injuries.
Prior to these signings, Albion were winless in seven, so that only emphasises the impact they have had all the while Leeds’ title challenge continues to falter.
If West Brom are seen lifting the Championship trophy up at the Hawthorns come may, then they can look back on these events as the catalyst behind it, all thanks to Dowling and those involved.
And in other news, West Brom will not be signing this international footballer…