West Brom were linked with signing Olivier Ntcham in both 2020 and 2021 but failed to bring him to the Hawthorns, with the midfielder showing the Baggies exactly what they were missing on Saturday afternoon.
In the end, Ntcham was loaned to Marseille where he would make just six appearances, before his release from Celtic in the summer of 2021.
You would have thought that then was the perfect time for the Baggies to bring Ntcham in, but it was Swansea City who would win the race for the former Manchester City man.
In his time with the Welsh side, he has contributed six goals and five assists in 46 appearances, including one goal and one assist in Saturday’s triumph over West Brom.
Swansea boss Russell Martin was full of praise for the 26-year-old last season, saying:
“Whenever he’s come on as a sub, games like West Brom, Barnsley earlier on in the season, he’s been brilliant.”
The Cameroon international came off the bench in the 66th minute and helped turn the game on its head, first equalising with a strong finish off the post from outside of the box, before setting up Michael Obafemi for his late winner.
Only Grady Diangana and Jed Wallace have registered more goal involvements (five) than Ntcham so far this season so it is clear what he would have added to the current Baggies midfield had he joined in either 2020 or 2021.
While West Brom fans might have been disappointed to miss out on him, he may have just done the Baggies a favour by having such an impact from the bench, as you would suspect that another home loss will put Steve Bruce under serious pressure as manager.
With the Baggies languishing in 21st place in the Championship after the weekend, many will be hoping that Ntcham’s performance and Swansea’s win will be the final straw for Bruce as West Brom manager.
Indeed, he has already admitted that the heat is on, and that was before Ntcham haunted them at the weekend.