West Brom were punished in more ways than one during their 5-1 capitulation at the hands of Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon…
At the centre of the Eagles’ dominance was attacking midfielder Eberechi Eze, one of the Baggies’ mooted summer transfer targets and it seems that their failure to sign him this summer has already proven to be a costly blunder.
The Express & Star reported in August that Albion ‘were in the hunt’ to clinch the 22-year-old sensation but his asking price was too much for the Midlands outfit to pay upfront.
Palace would go onto sign Eze for an initial £16m in a deal that could rise to £20m and included a 20% sell-on clause, as per Sky Sports.
And boy did Slaven Bilic feel the effects of not signing one of his targets this weekend.
Eze practically ran the show for the visitors at the Hawthorns, aside from Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke notching themselves a brace apiece.
The former QPR wizard assisted Palace’s fourth strike but also made 52 of 58 passes (90%), four of which being key passes as well as winning four free-kicks, managing two dribbles and winning seven of 11 ground duels, via SofaScore.
In just six Premier League starts, Eze has now contributed to three goals and is averaging 1.9 dribbles and 0.9 key passes per game as Roy Hodgson’s main focal point behind the talismanic Zaha.
But that should hardly come as a surprise given just how good he was for QPR in the Championship last term, scoring 14 goals and assisting eight more in 46 appearances, per WhoScored.
“[Eze] is a quality player, he literally glides through people. It’s nice [having] someone on your wavelength, that’s a tricky player as well because I know half of the stuff he’s going to do, so I just position myself to get the ball. It’s been a joy.”
Luke Dowling got it ever so wrong by not signing Eze this summer and that 5-1 was merely the consequence of his failure in the transfer market.
AND in other news, Bilic got it so wrong over West Brom’s £9m-rated dangerman…