West Brom are thought to be one of the teams eyeing a move for out-of-contract Crystal Palace ace James McCarthy.
The Athletic added further weight to the story just a few days ago, claiming that unpaid fees surrounding Nathan Ferguson’s move from the Hawthorns to Selhurst Park could aid Albion’s pursuit of McCarthy.
They claim that ‘experience in the centre of midfield is attractive to [Sam] Allardyce’ but the prospect of a relegation battle may not swing the cause in their favour, meaning he could assess his options in the summer.
This is where West Brom need to step in and tempt him into a move, even if short-term as his qualities are vastly needed right now.
And on just £50k-per-week at the Eagles, he could fit in their wage bracket quite handsomely as Kamil Grosicki has been linked with cancelling his £50k-per-week contract early while Charlie Austin and his £55k-per-week deal has been shipped onto QPR for the time being.
The 30-year-old veteran has played 263 times in the Premier League, a figure that eclipses Albion’s whole midfield in one, so he’d be a welcome addition.
On Tuesday night, we once again witnessed a calamitous display from Romaine Sawyers – the 29-year-old ranks as the Baggies’ worst regular starter (seven or more appearances) with an average WhoScored rating of 6.13.
Against Pep Guardiola’s men he was so out of his depth, recording a squad-low 5.5 ratings as he looked lightweight in his battles, winning only two of eight duels (25%), while he was also dribbled past three times by the class Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden and he committed an error leading to a goal, per SofaScore.
In the Premier League, this has become a frequent occurrence as seen by his abysmal average rating. There are no easy games in the top-flight, so by bringing in McCarthy, Allardyce could finally be handed a reason to finally axe Sawyers from his starting XI.
He’s simply only playing there due to the lack of options at his disposal.
McCarthy’s experience in the big time would also aid their survival bid massively as he’s played against the very best consistently every season.
Former Albion boss, now in charge of Palace, Roy Hodgson dubbed the Irish brute a “class act” and a “class player” just last season, a campaign which saw him manage 2.5 tackles and a 77.8% passing success rate, per WhoScored.
Enough is enough.
Allardyce must push to sign McCarthy before Monday’s transfer deadline. The Baggies cannot head into the coming months without addition midfield options.
If they do, then they may as well prepare for the Championship. At least Sawyers would feel back at home at a level where he’ll have the time and space needed to play his best.
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