For one last time, West Brom lineup for a Premier League fixture as they head to Leeds United later this evening.
The Baggies’ relegation back to the Championship was confirmed over two weeks ago and since then, they have been edged out in close affairs against Liverpool and West Ham.
It also marks the final time that Sam Allardyce will lead Albion out after it was announced that the 66-year-old would be leaving his post at the end of the season.
He – and West Brom – could go out with a bang by shocking Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who themselves have enjoyed an incredible maiden campaign in the big time.
Big Sam could also do the club a massive favour by opting to start those that should be around next season in the second flight. There is little point in playing those that are either out of contract or are here on a temporary basis.
Whoever the next manager is, he could well be looking on during this encounter, so it would benefit the Midlands side tenfold if those players were to feature.
Karlan Grant is one of those names. He has quickly gone from £12m summer signing to a forgotten man at the Hawthorns.
Once described as a “ruthless in front of goal” by former Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley and “natural goalscorer” by Charlton coach Jason Euell in interviews with The Athletic, the 23-year-old marksman has found life tough at the top level.
In 20 appearances, Grant has found the net just once, though he hasn’t started a game since early February and has only played a total of 1,125 minutes all season, as per Transfermarkt.
When joining last summer, the £8m-rated forward signed a long-term six-year £30k-per-week contract, so he’s certainly going to be a part of their long-term future and will surely play a major role in getting the Baggies back up.
His record in the Championship is rather respectable, after all, it’s such a record that led to Slaven Bilic pulling the trigger on his signature.
Mbaye Diagne has only scored three goals since arriving in January and is surely not going to stick around for another season in the Championship, so it would benefit everyone if someone like Grant were to start instead.
Given he’s barely featured much in 2021, he could be a secret weapon, playing with a massive chip on his shoulder and that could subsequently hurt Leeds.
Big Sam can go out on a bang if he unleashes the forgotten beast today.