It has been a difficult summer for Tony Pulis at West Bromwich Albion. He has have been actively looking to improve his squad and have been repeatedly linked to a number of talented players.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the club they, have missed out of a number of top targets including Michail Antonio, Matt Phillips and Abou Diaby, not to mention having to suffer with rumours about their sensational young striker Saido Berahino, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur all summer.
The Baggies finally made a couple of notable breakthroughs in the transfer market in the last fortnight, Rickie Lambert joined from Liverpool in a bid to rebuild his career. Then, just last week before the 3-0 hammering by Manchester City, the club announced the record signing of talented striker Solomon Rondon from Zenit St Petersburg for around £12million.
The 25-year-old had been interesting several top sides, including Liverpool and Roma, so the deal represents a real coup for the Baggies and a great sign of ambition.
Venezuela international Rondon is a quick and strong striker with an eye for goal – a real fox-in-the-box – who defenders hate the sight of.
During his time at Zenit he managed to score 28 goals in 57 games for the club, and Pulis will be hoping he can replicate some of that form in England.
He has all the qualities and potential to be a great signing for the Baggies. Perhaps the more important issue arising from the deal is what this could mean for star man Saido Berahino.
Spurs have been heavily linked with the striker and are expected to come back with another bid as they look to bring in a partner to take some pressure off Harry Kane. Baggies fans will be praying that West Brom can keep hold of last seasons top goalscorer, though.
However, there are a couple of factors that won’t ease the anxiety amongst the side’s fans.
Firstly from his time with previous club’s Stoke City and Crystal Palace, its a known fact that Pulis loves a big target man striker to play long ball football and use as an outlet for everything.
Rickie Lambert has all the qualities of this and is perfectly suited to his new manager’s tactical approach. You would also expect Rondon to almost be guaranteed a starting place because of the amount invested in the talented striker.
This links into the other worrying issue regarding Berahino; when Rondon made his debut, coming off the bench in the draw with Watford, he was played as part of a striking duo alongside Rickie Lambert.
Saido Berahino was forced onto the wing, an area where the player’s talents don’t particularly lie. It showed a possible sign of intent for the future of life at the Hawthorns.
It remains to be seen what Pulis has planned for his strikers but the signs aren’t great for Berahino, and the lure of European football, as well as the chance to improve his European Championship chances, might just make his decision a lot easier.