This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Brom are far from the finished article, there’s potential issues at the back and a lack of real creativity in attack.
That being said, it’s still early days.
Baggies boss Slaven Bilic made four signings on deadline day to desperately try and plug the glaring gaps in their squad.
That’s something that will take time to see come into effect as West Brom have won, drawn and lost their opening three competitive matches.
Last season, the team sometimes lacked composure but as long as the trio of Dwight Gayle, Jay Rodriguez and Harvey Barnes were in full flow, the goals would fly in. Goals and creativity, however, has been an issue in 2019/20.
So far they’ve scored just four goals in three matches, a somewhat steady return.
Bilic brought in three wingers on deadline day to add to Matt Phillips and Kyle Edwards so surely a solution is in there somewhere.
It may lie with Matheus Pereira who has joined the club on a season-long loan from Sporting CP – a club known for its academy exploits having brought through legends like Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.
A few years ago, the Brazilian was actually likened to Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma after his impressive early breakthrough in Portugal.
Since then things haven’t exactly gone to plan with two loan spells away from the club, the latest playing in the Bundesliga for FC Nurnberg – where he netted three goals and two assists in 19 appearances.
Thogden ranks all 24 Championship away kits in the video below…
The 5 foot 9 ace may be the answer to their creative problems having averaged 2.1 dribbles per game in Germany as well as picking up an average of 2.5 per game meaning he likes to take on his opposition number at full-back.
By comparison, Barnes only averaged 1.7 dribbles per game and was fouled on an average of 2.2 per game whilst Phillips, a current option for Bilic, recorded much lower on both with just an average of 1.6 dribbles per game and was fouled just 0.5 times a match.
Pereira made his debut in the Carabao Cup defeat to Millwall on Tuesday night, coming on as a substitute for just half an hour, giving the Baggies a glimpse into what he’s able to offer this season.
For a side that have lacked much penetration, the Brazilian could just give them a timely boost in that department.
His small cameo should give encouragement going forward especially as he, and the other late signings, gain much-needed match fitness and start to embed themselves amongst the first-team more.