West Brom could already be preparing for life in the Championship if emerging reports are to be believed…
According to The Sun, Baggies sporting and technical director Luke Dowling has his eye on Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall ahead of the summer transfer window.
It’s claimed that the Albion chief was in attendance to watch the 24-year-old over the weekend as the second-tier side romped to a 3-0 victory over Wycombe.
There is also a belief that Worrall is being lined up regardless of the division they’ll be in, though the writing is certainly on the wall right now.
It’s no surprise to see that defensive reinforcements will clearly be a top priority for Dowling this summer as the Midlands side have leaked a whopping 15 more goals than any other Premier League side (54), which is also the worst record across Europe’s elite leagues.
Their inability to stop the opposition has led to them precariously sitting second from bottom, some 11 points adrift from safety with the two teams above them possessing a game in hand.
Under Sam Allardyce, they have won just once and have shipped at least two goals in all but two outings, so it’s evident that their current crop of players are just not good enough as they teeter towards an instant return to the Championship.
And in Worrall, they’d be getting vastly experienced colossus in the division. The 6 foot 4 titan has racked up 114 league appearances and has emerged as one of Forest’s consistent star performers over the past 18 months.
After a loan spell at SPFL giants Rangers, he has returned to captain Chris Hughton’s side which is hardly a surprise given the praise he’s received about his suitability for such a role.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard told the Scottish Sun (via Nottingham Post) that “he is a leader” who’ll one day be a captain, whilst Kenny Burns echoed these sentiments, claiming: “He has got an old head on young shoulders and he is not frightened of letting people know if they are not putting a performance in.”
It speaks volumes that Premier League teams have been courted with interest in the past too, one of which Burnley, who baulked at his £10m asking price last summer, as per The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
Worrall has proven to be a monster at the back throughout his career, winning an average of 2.9 aerials per game as well as making a whopping 6.1 clearances per game too, via WhoScored.
No Albion centre-back wins as many duels in the air, only going to show that the 24-year-old Englishman would solve one issue at the back, whilst only Kyle Bartley is close to such clearance numbers at 5.3 per game, and he’s missed some of the season through injury, also via WhoScored.
The writing may be on the wall for the Baggies, but they can alleviate their disastrous campaign by swooping for Worrall in the summer. He’d be the perfect signing to kickstart a major comeback and overhaul.
AND in other news, West Brom can finally wave goodbye to £55k-p/w flop this summer…