According to reports in Spain, West Brom failed in a late attempt to secure a La Liga striker during the January transfer window, though they can count their lucky stars that a deal didn’t come to fruition.
Mundo Deportivo claim that the Baggies were keen to secure former Middlesbrough frontman, Martin Braithwaite, in a loan-to-buy deal which would have included a €15m (£14m) option.
It’s thought that the 29-year-old rejected the opportunity as he had no desire to swap the Nou Camp for the Hawthorns, which is obviously understandable.
But what isn’t understandable is Albion’s interest in the 5 foot 10 forward as he’s failed in England before.
Somehow, the former Boro flop has found himself playing alongside Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, albeit in a bit-part role at the Spanish giants.
During his time in the Championship with the north-east outfit, the 46-time Denmark international only managed to score eight goals in 36 appearances for the club, via Transfermarkt.
By comparison, even Charlie Austin and Hal Robson-Kanu both hit ten apiece last term with neither starting 24 or more matches, which speaks volumes as the former is no longer at the club, and the latter is merely a bench option right now.
Braithwaite also caused a bit of controversy that had former Baggies boss Tony Pulis reeling. After speaking to the Danish press about his future at the Riverside, the then-Boro manager launched a scathing attack on the striker.
He said, via GazetteLive:
“The biggest disappointment for me is he’s the highest-paid player I’ve ever worked with in the Championship,” before adding: “To show the disrespect he’s shown to this club by saying he’s not coming back, to Steve Gibson, who’s made him a multi-millionaire, let’s make no bones about it, the wages and what he’s earning are astonishing. I’ve dealt with players all my life, some can make your hair curl – not mine. But for him to come out and say that, it just puts him up there as such an ungrateful person.”
Pulis is probably the last person the Hawthorns faithful want to hear from, but these comments, along with Braithwaite’s disappointing record in England, make for appalling reading.
Albion are among the lowest scorers in the Premier League, and Braithwaite would not have been the answer to their issues. He’d have only been another big-money striker signing to fail in the Midlands, like Brown Ideye, who was signed for a then club-record £10m in 2014, he only delivered four Premier League goals before being shipped away after just one campaign.
Kenneth Zohore, Oliver Burke, Yuning Zhang, Stephane Sessegnon, Rickie Lambert are others to name just a few.
Luke Dowling and co may have just dodged an almighty £14m bullet this January.
AND in other news, West Brom just made a foolish mistake over £50k-per-week FLOP…