West Brom weren’t in a good place at the end of the 2018/19 season.
They didn’t have a manager and their two top goal scorers were set to leave the club with Dwight Gayle heading back to Newcastle and a £5m release clause in Jay Rodriguez’s contract.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, a Premier League team was ready to take a punt on the attacker, and he headed to Burnley quite promptly.
Unfortunately, West Brom lost their star man for just £5m, and despite Slaven Bilic coming in and taking the club to the verge of the Premier League, that is a move that must still sting.
Just look at how well Rodriguez did at West Brom.
The one thing the Baggies are lacking this season is a reliable goal scorer – their most prolific hitman has found the net just 10 times this season, while the former Saints man has netted 22 goals in 47 Championship and playoff games last term.
Ok, Rodriguez hasn’t carried that form over to the Premier League bagging just five times this term, but it’s worth remembering that he’s in a Burnley side that are famously built on strong defensive foundations rather than attacking play.
When Rodriguez is at his best we know he can bang them in at any level, netting 15 for Southampton back in 2013/14.
Losing a man who had just scored 22 goals for just £5m must sting. Transfermarkt had him down as a £9m player around the time he moved to Burnley, and it seems like it was something of a mistake for the Midlands club to put a transfer clause that would allow him to leave for so cheaply into his contract.
Luckily, the Baggies look like they’re going to go up without Rodriguez, but they would have had a much easier task if they still had him, or if they received a higher fee for him that could have then been reinvested.
In other news, West Brom need to sign a player in this position.