It’s very hard to pick any faults in West Brom’s transfer business this season.
The Baggies lost their two top scorers from last season, but they’ve still managed to come back a stronger side due to some shrewd work from Luke Dowling, bringing in the likes of Matheus Pereira, Grady Diangana and Semi Ajayi.
The three aforementioned players have proven to be fantastic additions, and the best part about it is that they’ve not cost very much with two loan deals and a free transfer.
Unfortunately, when the Midlands club have splashed the cash this season, they’ve got it very wrong.
The former Southampton man hasn’t had as bad a season as many fans’ reactions would have you believe, with a goal record of one every 132 minutes, but when you’re paying your striker £70k a week you expect a better return than eight league goals.
If Albion find themselves in the Premier League next season they’ll have more opportunities to spend large amounts on big-name signings due to the hefty windfall that comes with promotion.
It’s all well and good for Dowling to be able to sniff out the likes of Pereira and Diangana, but in the Premier League, it’s often getting the big-money signings right that will have the biggest say on your fate.
Unfortunately, when the West Brom chief has been handed the chance to splash out he’s not got it right, and if that trend carries over into the top-flight it could be catastrophic.
Bargains are brilliant no matter what division you’re in, but if you’re fighting for your life in the Premier League, where near-enough every team has a plethora of players bought for eight-figure fees, these cut-price signings may not be able to do the job.
Albion need to join the party by making a few big-money purchases, but if Dowling is to do that he has to get better at finding value for money in that higher spending bracket.
In other news, promotion could be worth less to both Leeds and WBA.