As West Brom roll towards a return to the promised land of the Premier League after a two-season absence, they may have to thank the man that kickstarted their initial downfall a couple of years ago for one reason.
The Baggies were technically relegated under Darren Moore at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, but their fate was practically sealed months earlier after the hierarchy at the club sacked Alan Pardew following a run of eight straight defeats and just one victory in 18 attempts.
Pardew is now in charge of Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag, his first chance at redemption since his managerial undoing at the Hawthorns.
During his only transfer window at Albion, the former Palace boss brought in then-Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge on loan, which forced starlet Tyler Roberts out the door to soon-to-be title rivals Leeds United for a fee believed to be an initial £2.5m, potentially rising to £4m.
Well with every passing week in their current head-to-head for promotion, West Brom are looking more like the winners from the deal – Pardew’s only masterstroke, perhaps?
Before the Whites’ clash with Brentford this week, the 21-year-old was ruled out through injury, which quickly caused fans to unleash on him as that appears to be a frequent occurrence at Elland Road. Some claimed he was stealing a living while others demanded he is sold.
This season, the versatile forward has been limited to just 12 appearances in the Championship whilst he has been entirely absent from the matchday squad 16 times, per Transfermarkt.
He’s managed only 66 minutes since the end of November and wasn’t involved in any of their first six outings at the start of the season, so he’s clearly been faced with a substantial amount of time on the sidelines.
Roberts also failed to make an impact against the Baggies when the two teams met in October despite Leeds coming out on top.
But it is the west Midlands outfit who are the real winners as they have seemingly flogged an injury-prone flop to a side they appear set on beating in the title race this season.
And that’s only been able to happen because Pardew didn’t think enough of him back in 2018.
Well played, sir.
While in other news, West Brom striker Charlie Austin issues verdict on Roberto Firmino transfer news…