West Bromwich Albion have spent the last five years yo-yo-ing between the Premier League and the Championship, with two relegations and one promotion since 2017/18.
There have been several factors behind their inability to remain a consistent force in the top-flight of English football, but arguably the most pivotal aspect is their poor record in the transfer market.
Many players have been brought into the Hawthorns for relatively large fees before failing to live up to expectations in recent years, heavily contributing to the club’s struggles at the elite level.
And one of those who has arguably flopped for the Midlands outfit is Karlan Grant. The 24-year-old striker was brought to West Brom in a £15m deal back in October 2020, making him one of their most expensive purchases.
During his unveiling, technical director Luke Dowling lauded the youngster’s ability to put the ball in the back of the net, claiming he was ready for the step-up that the Premier League would undoubtedly provide.
“We are confident we have signed a young player who has proved he is ready for the challenges of the Premier League,” said Dowling. “He has scored goals throughout his career, including the few months he had with Huddersfield at this level two years ago.”
However, things have not gone to plan for Grant. The former England U18 international scored just a single goal as West Brom finished 19th last term, immediately returning to the Championship as a result.
His underwhelming performances upfront saw him fall out of favour when Sam Allardyce took over from Slaven Bilic halfway through the season, with his last league start coming at the beginning of February.
Although Grant has started the current campaign well, bagging four goals and providing two assists in 11 Championship outings, his inability to produce at the highest level has seen his market value plummet to just £7.2m, less than half the total that West Brom paid for his services just last year.
While the £30,000-per-week dud may yet come good for the Baggies, it appears the club’s hierarchy made a big mistake in placing their trust in a striker unproven in the Premier League, contributing heavily to their eventual relegation.