West Brom’s move for De Laet smacks of desperation

According to Football Insider, West Brom have made an approach to sign Aston Villa full-back Ritchie De Laet before the loan window closes.

What’s the story?

De Laet joined Villa from Leicester in 2016 but has made just 14 appearances during his two years at the club. In January this year he was shipped out on loan to Royal Antwerp, the club where he began his career, as he fell behind Alan Hutton in the pecking order at Villa Park.

The Belgian defender can play in any position across a back four but is predominantly a right-back. Before his four year stint with Leicester he was at Manchester United, although he managed just six first team appearances in three years and spent most of his time out on loan.

The 29-year-old now finds himself even further away from the first team at Villa this summer as Hutton, Ahmed Elmohamady and loanee Axel Tuanzebe have all played at right-back, with De Laet making just two appearances in much-changed Carabao Cup sides.

A desperate bid

West Brom recently confirmed the signing of 35-year-old right-back Tyrone Mears on a rolling contract until January, having let Allan Nyom leave the club on loan this summer. However, Mears has likely been brought in as back-up but a deal for De Laet would smack of desperation.

The former Belgium international is no longer seen as good enough for Villa and West Brom are a direct rival who are battling for promotion back to the Premier League, suggesting that he wouldn’t be good enough for the Baggies either.

Darren Moore has also begun deploying a three at the back formation with Matt Phillips playing as an attacking right-wing back. His success in this position has surprised many and De Laet would be too different a player to suit the new system. This is a mistake that Moore must avoid making.