West Brom are hoping to secure Hamza Choudhury on loan this month, though one thing is standing in their way.
According to the Express & Star, Baggies boss Sam Allardyce is keen to add a holding midfielder to his squad before the end of the transfer window, and is understood to have the Leicester City man among his top targets.
However, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers has hinted that he’d prefer a permanent exit, which may not suit Albion as transfers in excess of £2m have already been ruled out by reliable journalist John Percy.
“A loan deal isn’t an overly attractive one at this moment in time,” said Rodgers.
“If he does go out, it may be to get games. He wants to play, which is natural,” before he added: “If someone is looking to buy him, or sees his qualities to buy then that’s a different matter. We’ll see what January brings on that front.”
With Choudhury valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt, he would seem out of West Brom’s price range which is why they’re chasing a temporary deal, but it might be time for chairman Guochuan Lai to open his tight wallet to fill Big Sam’s glaring need in defensive midfield.
As we have seen this season, Albion lack an out-and-out option in the role as academy graduate Sam Field has spent most of the time on the treatment table.
Romaine Sawyers, who has been deployed there for much of the campaign, has proven repeatedly that he’s not up to the standard of starting in the Premier League – especially as an anchorman.
Only Jake Livermore has recorded a worse average rating than the 28-year-old’s 6.21 of any regular Baggies starter (those that have started eight or more of their 17 matches), per WhoScored.
Indeed, three other midfielders (Livermore, Field and Conor Gallagher) have managed more tackles per game than Sawyers (1.6), so it raises further questions to why Big Sam continues to put such faith in him.
Clearly, it is because of the lack of alternatives, which is why the addition of Choudhury is needed this month – even if they have to ‘break the bank’ for him on a permanent deal as he’d be an instant upgrade.
The 23-year-old hasn’t been given a proper opportunity at the King Power, but when he was given a run of matches in the 2018/19 season, he displayed very promising attributes – managing 2.7 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game, via WhoScored, which are two major facets of a lynchpin’s game.
Those tackling figures would sit him above Sawyers by quite some distance as well as Field and Livermore, whilst in terms of interceptions, only Darnell Furlong is averaging more this term, per WhoScored.
Choudhury has also been tipped to play for England one day as former Foxes coach Steve Walsh told Football FanCast: “Yes, he can [get into the England side],” before adding: “He’s a player with great tenacity, he reads the game well.”
Whilst pundit and ex-pro Gary Lineker once lauded the British Asian enforcer an “extremely talented young player” to Twitter.
Big Sam can wave goodbye to playing Sawyers in defensive midfield, just as long as sporting and technical director Luke Dowling can sanction a move for the young talent.
AND in other news, Imagine him and Pereira: West Brom must secure “creative” £57k-p/w maestro…